Edtech leader upGrad & AR pioneer EyeWay Vision partner to create one-of-a-kind AR learning experience
New Delhi: upGrad, South Asia’s largest online higher education company, and EyeWay Vision today announced their partnership, enabling upGrad to become the first Indian edtech company with an enhanced AR-driven learning experience. EyeWay Vision Ltd, an Israeli company developing an innovative wearable augmented reality platform, will bring one-of-a-kind immersive augmented reality (AR) to upGrad learners.
The global e-learning market was estimated at US $144 billion in 2019 and is forecast to reach US $374.3 billion by 2026, according to market research firm Facts and Factors. The market for virtual and augmented reality is forecast to reach more than $67 billion globally by 2024, according to AR/VR analyst firm Digi-Capital. upGrad has more than one million learners in more than 50 countries and has recorded an annual revenue run-rate of 165 Million USD for fiscal year 2021.
“Partnering with upGrad is the perfect opportunity to apply EyeWay’s advanced AR technology to enhance the whole learning experience by making it unprecedentedly immersive and distraction-free, gamifying online learning for high course completion rates. EyeWay’s exceptional AR uses eye tracking, direct retinal projection and foveated projection to produce a tenfold improvement in visual enhancement. This can disrupt multi-billion-dollar markets like educational technology where an impeccable visual experience is a key to user value,” commented Dr. Nikhil Balram, CEO of subsidiary company EyeWay Vision Inc. in Silicon Valley, charged with bringing products to market. Dr. Balram is a renowned AR/VR expert, former head of display at Google, and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, guest professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Gandhinagar, India, and former visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Israeli AR pioneer is developing products based on advanced immersive AR technology, enabling new forms of immersive entertainment, digital learning, e-commerce, and other enterprise applications. Both EyeWay Vision & upGrad share a common vision of creating greatly enhanced immersive learning experiences that customers can access anytime and anywhere.
Ronnie Screwvala & Phalgun Kompalli, Co-founders upGrad, said in a joint statement, “At upGrad, we believe in bringing the best and the latest technology to enhance the learning experience for our learners. The partnership with EyeWay Vision is a path-breaking step wherein we look at developing an augmented three-dimensional interactive learning environment to keep our learners engaged. Not only would this move disrupt the edtech market at large but it would also contribute towards our vision of making world-class education mainstream.”
The EyeWay Vision prototype offers a very high dynamic range, with brightness ranging from ultra-bright 20 thousand nits down to a very low black level of 0.1 nits, allowing it to be used indoors and outdoors in all kinds of lighting. It offers an extremely wide color gamut (Rec 2020), retinal resolution, naturally wide field of view and dynamic focusing, presenting rich and natural digital content that looks completely realistic. The prototype is expected to be available towards the fourth quarter of 2021.
Jeremy Bailenson, VR professor at Stanford University, founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and EyeWay Vision advisory board member, explained, “If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that digital learning works and is here to stay. The next phase of this virtual revolution will be to leverage more immersive technology. While AR has shown promise to be a tremendous tool for learning, it hasn’t yet taken off due to limitations around field of view, the brightness and color range of images, and resolution. Eyeway Vision has created an incredible system to overcome these challenges, and there is nothing else like it on the market today. I am excited for digital learning to become more immersive, and to help Eyeway Vision become a leader in this space.”
“Incorporating AR technology into online learning is a compelling application that creates an engaging and immersive learning experience for students in digital education,” commented Anthony Rowe, Siewiorek and Walker Family professor of electrical and computer engineering, at Carnegie Mellon University. “EyeWay and upGrad’s partnership could pave the way for a new digital learning experience that could be the future of online learning,” he continued.
Through this partnership, upGrad will leverage EyeWay’s customized system to explore the development of AR-enhanced learning experiences and online programs. At an advanced stage, EyeWay and upGrad may include university partners to join in a pilot program. This move can make upGrad the first Indian edtech company and one of the very few globally to incorporate mixed reality to enhance the learning experiences of its online learners. EyeWay is currently developing an immersive AR head-worn prototype. This prototype will be used to enable an immersive AR learning experience that will further be developed by upGrad and its content partners.