South America

Cali-based Augmented Reality Firm Offers Low Cost Development

Augmented reality is fast becoming a mainstream technology as companies are steadily incorporating it into various areas such as medical tech, communication, and education. AR companies seek companies which can lower their costs by sharing the burden of development. A tech startup based in California and Cali, Colombia called Augmented Island Studios has been stepping up.

Cofounded by Enrique, Mauricio, Kamil and Juan Ramón, this Cali startup strives to offer high quality within reasonable costs. Augmented Island Studios are a full service augmented reality and virtual reality studio based in San Luis Obispo, California with development offices in Cali, Colombia. Boasting of over 40 years of combined real time development experience, they cater to curious and fun AR/VR applications to complex 3D simulations.

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Currently, Augmented Island Studios counts clients in sectors like entertainment, publishing, sports, wine, apparel and consumer packaged goods industries.

Cision quoted CEO, Enrique Sánchez-Rivera, explained how they acquired clients after just four-months after their launch. “Owning a few other businesses myself made me understand clearly, that the prohibitive pricing of augmented reality development in the United States and Europe was a competitive advantage for us. As we started submitting proposals and quotes, we realized that having development offices in Cali, Colombia, allowed us to offer prices that were 30% to 60% lower than those of United States and European augmented reality studios”.

With a staff fluent in English and Colombia’s US-compatible time zones, the development offices of Augmented Island Studios are opportune for the company’s American clientele. At the same time, they also offer lower costs than the US or Europe-based companies.

Latin America, which is generally known to be behind the US or European market when it comes to technology, has been touted by a MarketsandMarkets analyst as poised to grow at a CAGR of 49.61% between 2016 and 2022. According to the MarketsandMarkets report, the AR market is projected to reach USD 60.55 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 40.29% between 2018 and 2023. The report valued the virtual reality market at USD 5.12 billion in 2017, which is projected to reach USD 34.08 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 33.95%.

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Apart from Augmented Island Studios, Latin America boasts of companies like Argentinian city Mendoza-based Inamika Interactive and Mexico’s Eon Reality. Also, Argentina-based American VR company Voxelus also provides low cost VR solutions. IDG Connect quoted Voxelus CEO Repetto, “We pay for nine people what you would pay for three people in the US or Europe,” he said.

“Ninety percent of what Latin America produces is software as a service for video games and I see that trend continuing into VR. I definitively see game developers here in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, shifting to VR studios and providing product as a service, bandwidth, time and materials, and of course software as a service to companies in the US and Europe that are looking to build such products. Since VR is new and you want to invest but you don’t want to over-invest, it is good to outsource,” Repetto added.

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