Recent PhD graduate Jeremy Hartmann launches company offering virtual reality streaming services

Friday, January 21, 2022

Jeremy Hartmann successfully defended his dissertation in December 2021 and launched an entrepreneurial venture that took his academic research to the next level.

photo of Jeremy HartmannAs a graduate student in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, Jeremy’s PhD was a study of merging the real and the virtual, which his new company MTION is putting into practice as a virtual reality streaming service and digital clubhouse.

While pursuing his PhD, Jeremy was involved in the Waterloo innovation ecosystem and was a winner of the Concept by Velocity startup challenge for graduate students. He completed internships at Microsoft Research in 2018 and Adobe Research in 2019, and developed the technical side of his current venture in the Human Computer Interaction Lab, supervised by Daniel Vogel, Professor and Cheriton Faculty Fellow.

“My research program took up different types of extended reality,” Jeremy said. “I’ve been working to build and understand different interaction techniques and different systems to enable things like augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality.”

Augmented reality is layered on top of our everyday physical reality, such as through a pair of digital glasses that may show information or overlaid images in physical space. Virtual reality is a more immersive experience, such as through VR headsets that create a digital space. Mixed reality and extended reality are terms to describe the combination of various forms of augmented reality, virtual reality and physical reality.

“The way I like to think of it is as a continuum,” Jeremy continued. “On one side you have unmediated physical reality. That’s the space we occupy with our physical bodies. On the other side of the continuum we have a completely virtual reality, with things like VR headsets.

“The more senses that are immersed in the virtual world, like visual, auditory and touch sensation, the further on this side of the continuum. Then you have things in the middle, like augmented reality, where you have a blending between the real and the virtual.”

Learn more about Jeremy and MTION, a company he launched that offers virtual reality streaming services, in the feature article on Waterloo News.

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