Recently, the team at Coachman’s had the chance to sit down with the CEO of our partner Nextech, Evan Gappelberg.
We began this interview by asking Evan about how he got started, to which he said "my background was on Wall Street, and so I've really honed my ability to spot mega trends.”. In doing so, Evan was able to participate in the cannabis megatrend from “2015 essentially until Q4 2017.” From there, he “founded Nextech AR Solutions to take advantage of the augmented reality mega trend that was emerging back in 2018”.
When asked about the underlying technology which provided the foundation for Nextech’s early success, he believes it was “made possible because of AR Kit and AR core which are essentially the SDKs (software development kits) that Apple and Google launched, which allowed everybody to create augmented reality experiences on their phones.”.
When discussing which use of AR technology surprised him the most, Evan isn’t very surprised by any current application, but what surprises him is that “ there isn't more augmented reality being used today. I see an enormous amount of use cases with augmented reality that are ahead of us.” Additionally, he believes “the mega trend isn't even fully formed, it hasn't actually fully taken hold. I'm anticipating a huge, huge run in everything related to augmented reality.”.
Moreover, when concerning AI systems and how Nextech plans to incorporate them into the business, Evan believes in a convergence between AR and AI as they begin to create an interactive and immersive world. In terms of Nextech, “AI is really taking center stage. It's really driving the innovation at Nextech, our ability to produce 3D models using generative AI is expanding quite rapidly. From my standpoint AI is the secret sauce that Nextech has and our ability to create 3D models at scale is rapidly, rapidly increasing while our cost is rapidly decreasing, which means our financial position is getting stronger with every 3D model that we make. As more demand keeps on showing up, I do believe that we will be the only company that will be able to meet that demand because of our AI, and ultimately I see that generating massive amounts of cash flow for Nextech over the next couple of years”.
When asked which business vertical he was most excited to grow, Evan says it’s “like asking which is my favorite child, right? So there really is no most exciting. I would say that in terms of the most advanced piece of our technology, our 3D model making business for e-commerce is definitely the most advanced.”.
Regarding partnership expansion, he adds “ we’ve been working with Amazon now for almost 6 months and that relationship is getting stronger and stronger. We just landed Target which is another huge, huge opportunity for us. We've mentioned that Walmart is next and that doesn't include another 100+ accounts. We're starting to see a massive inflow of requests, not like in the past when we used to get asked to make 25 3D models for tests. What's changing is a lot of those people have already done their tests, and now they're looking for thousands of 3D models. In the past it was a much longer sales cycle to get to the 1000 conversation, the 1000 conversation is now happening very very quickly.”.
Evan also believes that “the same thing goes for Toggle 3D, because that ultimately is going to be the workhorse where a lot of the 3D models get ingested into that platform, whether it's a CAD file or not and then you can point and click to change the texture. To put that into perspective with Toggle 3D our ability to scale goes up by a 100 X, and that’s just the beginning. It’s going to allow us to be the leader in this $100 billion total addressable market. If you think about ARway, that platform is the first mover in the spatial computing space, we use it for augmented reality wayfinding but it's really a spatial computing platform so Toggle 3D, ARway, the 3D modelling business ARitize 3D, Nextech event solutions which basically is a compilation of the ARway wayfinding at events, and the end to end event software solutions which nobody else in the $50B addressable market has.”.
Regarding potential icebergs ahead for the AR industry, Evan is confident in Nextech’s ability to prevail as “the only challenge that we have is perfecting our technology, but that’s iterative and never ends. You're constantly perfecting as technology is constantly leapfrogging. Look at Internet Explorer, I remember when they launched that back in 1995, the tech is now obsolete, but there was a moment in time when that was the de facto standard. So in technology, there's this constant game of leapfrog, I think we have leapt to the front of the pack in terms of 3D modelling in terms of spatial computing in terms of our events software. The challenge is to stay out front.”.
When asked what Nextech would do to stay ahead of the curve, Evan laid out his plans for hiring the right people, including a “ Chief AI Officer to integrate AI throughout the company, to really turn it into Nextech AI Solutions. Leverage is like the ninth wonder of the world, and AI is leverage to the nth degree, it's leverage on top of leverage.”.
When asked about what piece of AI technology will impact the day-to-day lives of individuals the most, Evan believes it’s going to be “ all of our tech, as it’s all emerging at the same time. If you think about AR wayfinding I think that's going to become a standard when you're navigating indoors in any arena, any building. I think shopping online through Amazon is already the standard, and that's a $5.5 trillion dollar megatrend that's gonna be worth $10 trillion in the next decade or so, and that all is gonna be in 3D and AR. Everything is now shifting from 2D to 3D, which is massive, and we're right there. We're there, working with Amazon to make this a reality which they want to happen. My dream is that you go to an event in the future, Java Center or CES, or any of the big advanced trade shows, and our wayfinding solution is front and center with ARway. When you're speaking to people that are in the booths, they're using augmented reality to show you a 3D model that we made for them of their products. So I think it's all gonna come together, all the different technologies that we either own or operate are all rising up together as part of one ecosystem, one transformation that's happening together.”.
When we asked about Neuralink, its popularity, and whether he wants one to which he said “ I do, wouldn't you want to have an implant to make you smarter, faster, and better? It's probably 50% of the population that would agree with the other 50% saying no chance. I think it just depends on the person. But you'll have the pioneers, a few people will do it, and assuming their heads don't explode right when they actually become more productive, others will take notice. Once there's a successful test of this created edge those who get left behind will experience Fomo. It is a brave new world, and I do think that in the end, you will have the convergence of man and machine. We essentially have been creating machines that we live side by side with. I mean there are machines everywhere, all around us that we've created. So to merge with them is kind of the natural next level of progression.”.
We then asked whether he believed implant usage would skew to either side of the age scale, to which he said “I’m not sure, if you're really old you might just do it because you're gonna die, anyway. I think at both ends of the spectrum you’ll see takers. But, now we're talking about colonizing Mars, Neuralink and AI, this is all new stuff that was just sci-fi a couple of decades ago. I believe AI is going to accelerate everything. At some point in the next 10 to 20 years, they're predicting the singularity event where AI is smarter than the human. At that point, we've essentially created our replacement unless we've merged. It's exciting and scary at the same time, mostly scary. But from my perspective, if you think about the future world and the new technology for this future world we're talking about with AI, and everything that’s going on today, everything that we're selling today is actually part of that future. Spatial computing, 3D models, AI-driven platform software platforms, I mean it's actually that's why I get out of bed.”.
When asked if he had any final thoughts he wanted to leave our readers with Evan replied “I would say that I think Nextech is being extremely underappreciated in the market, we’re extremely undervalued and maybe it's because we trade on the OTCQX or the CSE. It's hard to gauge exactly why, but I will say that I've never felt better about our businesses, the visibility that I’m now seeing-which we will share more about after Q1- is unprecedented. What I mean by that is that the demand that's starting to emerge in a big way is unprecedented, and I do think that investors are going to be extremely surprised, and extremely heavily rewarded for their patience and poise with Nextech. That's really where my head’s at, I believe this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to invest in this megatrend, where you have a company that already positions itself with the tech, but also with the teams at Amazon and Target, these are not small things.”.
That concludes our interview with Nextech3D.AI CEO Evan Gappelberg - we thank him for his time and we hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned as we take a deeper dive into the company’s coming AI innovations, and once again, click here for our previous coverage of this ever-evolving industry!