Sightful, a startup based in Tel Aviv, is rolling out what it calls the world’s first augmented reality (AR) laptop following nearly three years of under-the-radar development.
Designed for the “work from anywhere” movement, the 13-inch Spacetop takes full advantage of AR to transform the area around users into 100 inches of virtual screen space.
Spacetop’s multi-monitor “Canvas” can display all open apps and windows, overlaid on the real world yet invisible to anyone except the user wearing the customized NReal AR glasses that come with the device. There are no gesture controls to learn, and no external hardware to integrate.
Sightful launched its Spacetop Early Access promo on May 18, inviting 1,000 early adopters to reserve their own machine for $2,000.
“Two worlds sit at a crossroads: Laptops are the centerpiece of our daily working lives, but the technology has not evolved with the modern, work from anywhere, privacy matters, ‘road warrior’ mentality,” said Tamir Berliner, CEO and cofounder of Sightful.
“Meanwhile, augmented reality is full of potential and promise, but is yet to find its daily use case. We are at the perfect moment for a significant paradigm shift in a device we all know and love, and Spacetop Early Access is the first step in that journey,” said Berliner.
Berliner and cofounder/COO Tomer Kahan, both formerly with AR technology company Magic Leap, are spatial computing veterans. Berliner cofounded PrimeSense, which was acquired by Apple in 2013, and Kahan was an executive with N-trig, which Microsoft acquired in 2015.
Sightful, their joint human-computer interaction (HCI) venture founded in 2020, hired more than 60 employees to reinvent the laptop experience. The staff encompasses expertise in product management, UX/UI, core software, cloud, applications, marketing, computer vision, systems and design.
The company has raised $61 million and set up offices in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Taiwan and Singapore.
“To date, every other company’s approach to augmented reality has, ironically, been completely removed from reality,” said Eden Shochat, Equal Partner at Aleph Capital, one of Sightful’s investors.
“Sightful focused on an immediate utility which advances human productivity, a personal passion of mine,” Shochat said.
“Rather than trying to convince the world that we need to live in a metaverse or create an entirely new way of working, they focused on building a product people can use now. This is the right approach, at the right moment, with the right team charting a new path for an everyday device, similar to the iPhone or Roadster before them.”
Between reality and AR
Marvin Tien, partner at Corner Ventures, called Spacetop “the bridge between reality and augmented reality, combining the utility and versatility of a laptop with the magic of painting information on the world around us.”
Tien said that as an investor in Sightful, “Corner is committed to leveraging all its connections across Asia Pacific, Europe, and anywhere else in the world where our network may reach to help align the Sightful team with the right leaders across spatial computing, personal computing and product innovation.”
The Spacetop computer is powered with Qualcomm’s chipset and 5G based module, and made by laptop hardware manufacturer Wistron, based in Taiwan.
“Our company infrastructure dedicated to R&D and innovation thrives on world-changing ideas,” said Ray Wah, Chief of Product and Strategy at Wistron.
“The Spacetop Early Access program launching today will reach some of the most influential early adopters in the world and, as Spacetop expands, they can leverage our global manufacturing leadership to achieve the scale they need to usher in this new era of personal computing.”
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