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AR showroom

With COVID-19 not having fully subsided yet, shopping is still risky. I know. Tell that to all the items that are rotting away in your store right? They aren’t gonna sell themselves after all. Well not to worry. LiveRoom has got just the solution for you. They will make it possible for your clients to view your items in Augmented Reality view before purchasing so they don’t have to worry about coming to your store physically. How cool is that?

With retailers facing a real problem due to mass shopping restrictions imposed by COVID-19, it seemed only timely to interview one of Sri Lanka’s leading tech innovators. Here’s what the team at LiveRoom had to say:

Q:

Would you mind giving a brief premise about the unique concept behind LiveRoom for my readers?

LiveRoom is a Sri Lankan company focused on the niche market of computer graphics based software development which includes Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and a few more fields such as GPU programming, High performance Algorithm design etc. 

AR showroom

Augmented reality is the concept of virtual addition of content to the real environment simulating the virtual content as they are right there in the real space. With the innovations in technology, Augmented Reality is now at a stage where we can simulate the content adapting to real lighting conditions depending on the environments it is being placed on. Augmented reality has now become accessible for everyone as it is now compatible and available for all mobile phones, tablets and even wearable devices.

Q:

I’m curious to know how you and the team behind the launch of LiveRoom, first came up with the idea to start up an AR showroom platform. What prompted or rather, inspired you?

LiveRoom is an extension of a final year project done by the founders of the company and their project supervisor/advisor when they were undergraduates at University of Moratuwa. The idea was to visualize products for the buying customers before they click on the purchase button. This will increase the customer satisfaction and decrease product returns.

In the beginning the idea was to operate as a separate mobile application but with the technology enhancements we adopted the cutting edge technical aspects and now does not require a separate mobile application but can smoothly and easily work on the mobile web browser itself. We saw the requirement of such a platform way before the vendors really saw the requirement of such a solution. Hence our success.

Q:

Apart from this, there’s something that makes me more curious. And that is, the exact process you went through to launch LiveRoom. And I’m sure my readers are interested in this too, especially, aspiring tech entrepreneurs.

Could you briefly run us all through the process from inception to finally launching the startup.

The company is the brainchild of 4 individuals who had the courage and enthusiasm to try out new things, take risks and have a vision goal and target and work towards it step by step.

The enthusiasm, the work quality and punctuality of the founders as well as the whole team made the company stand out in all places and they were able to steal the spotlight. From an idea to take it up to a commercialized product it took the effort of everyone. Sleepless nights, target oriented mindset and more importantly everyone’s mindset considering and treating this platform as their own thing and working to make the solution a success.

The company was bootstrapped and in a few months’ time after launch, we were able to bring the company up to a level where the product development can be internally funded by the company itself. Planning and sticking with the plan while adapting to the changes in technology, the industry etc played a huge role in the success story. 

AR showroom
The LiveRoom team

Q:

Being a firm that operates in the tech industry what can you say about the current tech startup climate in Sri Lanka?

In a word, Blooming. There are innovative ideas coming into light and the state and private sectors, incubators, investors have started seeing value and the potential of the ideas which is a good sign for the rising startups. The guidance and support from the state and private sector is the crucial factor in a successful startup apart from the focus and business idea they come up with.

There are many success stories where they can be inspired from, there are many stories of failure for them to learn what not to do and there are state/private sector support programs, incubators, resource persons for them to reach out to and get the use of. It is a matter of being confident, standing behind what you do and represent and taking the correct use of the resources available.

Q:

Do you see it as a promising industry that will bring forth great tech entrepreneurs to both the local and international spotlight?

Yes. Talent is there. Knowledge is there. Enthusiasm is there. All the ingredients are available and it’s a matter of adding the correct amount of each to the curry you cook. Select your partners wisely, select your team wisely and you can go a long journey.

Q:

Among many other services you provide LiveRoom focuses on technologies like AR and VR. How feasible is it to provide and implement such technologies in Sri Lanka, not just for you but also for your clients?

Local markets have now begun to see the value and the usage of such technologies and application of such technologies in their business flows. Compared to the international market there is a slight setback but it is improving day by day and we believe in a few years time many people will see the usage of these technologies and will begin to embrace them efficiently and effectively.

Q:

As an innovative tech startup LiveRoom has won several awards and recognitions so far.

How does it feel to do something you’re passionate about and be recognized in such a way? How would you put your feelings to words?

Amazing. Being recognized for doing something we are passionate about, we believed in and we worked for is one of the best things that can happen to us. We were able to receive many awards and recognitions not just locally but also internationally which opened more doors for us in the global marketplace. 

AR showroom
Receiving the eSwabhimani award in 2016

Following are some of the awards and recognitions,

  • One of the best 3 startups at Innovfest Unbound in Singapore 2016
  • Best pitches in Lenovo Startup challenge in France 2016
  • eSwabhimani 2016 and 2019
  • Best startup of the year 2017 by CSSL
  • NBQSA 2018 and 2019
  • ZeroOne awards 2019
  • Silver Award winner of EDB special awards under the 2000 New Exporters program at the presidential Export Awards 2018/19
AR showroom
Receiving the Best startup of the year award at the CSSL National Information Technology Conference Inauguration 2017

Q:

What, as you believe, goes into building an award-worthy startup? What values, ethics and practices have got you where you are today?

Being true to what you do, being transparent and open with everyone you are dealing with be it your clients partners or even your own team, bringing all possibilities to table when there is a requirement and being punctual are the most valued ones. Apart from that not being unethical when it comes to anything related to business and or organization should also be considered. Putting your best effort and being focused and goal oriented and following procedures with right skills. Making right decisions evaluating every possibility.

Q:

What is OGMO? Can you give a brief introduction to this 3D content streaming platform?

OGMO is the flagship product of LiveRoom which enables 3D and Augmented reality easily accessible to the ecommerce vendors. It is a plug and play kind of solution to bring the products you sell in ecommerce to life. Speciality of this is that no separate mobile application is required for this. Simply through the web browser on your mobile phone you can visualize the products easily.

Q:

How has the response been from clients to all the services you’ve introduced so far?

It has been very good. We have been experiencing a returning clientele in the past years and have been able to serve a number of clients diversified in many geographical locations of the world. The returning clients proves the quality, efficiency and punctuality of us and our services.

Q:

Do you have any advice and inspiration to pass on to other young aspiring entrepreneurs, especially, tech entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka?

Believe in what you do, stand by your ideas.decisions and make right decisions and you will reach greater heights.

Q:

Lastly, anything else you’d like to add?

The key to all success stories is the great team and the team work. We should mention about our great supportive team as they play a key role in this whole thing.

We are very happy to be able to start small and be successful and are thankful for all our team, well wishers and supporters for being with us throughout these years. We are happy and excited to be doing great things and we will continue to do so.

LiveRoom certainly had a lot of inspiration in store for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.

Tech entrepreneurship still has quiet a long way to go in Sri Lanka but as the team at LiveRoom revealed, it’s definitely blooming.

Which brings me to next week’s topic: climate change tech and how important tech entrepreneurship is in this field right now. Hope you look forward to it too.

For more inspiration check out my other interviews in the Dare to Dream SL series; meet the youngest CEO of Sri Lanka, the first CEO to introduce LegalTech startups to the island and Achinthya Amarakoon a pioneer of Sri Lanka’s modern comic industry.

Thank you for the read! Hope you have an amazing weekend. Don’t forget to follow Snow Tree on Facebook for blog post updates and more! If you liked today’s post, share it with your friends and leave a comment below!

See ya next week!


Anuththara Peiris

Writer, Researcher, Content creator.

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