Krasimir Nikolov is the CEO and Co-founder of QuarkXR, a US/Bulgarian deep tech company which is building out the XR Cloud Platform for 5G and the Edge Cloud. QuarkXR utilizes Cloud computing to address the shortcomings of current XR hardware. By moving most of the computation to the Cloud, the company enables powerful, and simultaneously lightweight mobile devices.
Krasimir is an XR veteran with over 7 years of experience in the field. Before QuarkXR, he was the co-creator of Intugame VR, a mobile app designed for VR gaming before the release of Oculus CV1 and HTC Vive in 2016. He also worked on applications for Google Glass aimed at AR gaming and accessibility. Krasimir did a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence and has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
When we started QuarkXR (It was actually called QuarkVR at the time) there were few untethered XR headsets on the market, and their quality was a bit subpar. This is why we started working on a streaming solution with the goal of having a powerful computer do the heavy lifting, while the XR hardware remains as slim as possible. In the years after that, the Cloud XR use case has really picked up, as a means to drive the quality and fidelity of the XR experience further.
2. What’s your company’s vision?
The vision of QuarkXR is to deliver the best possible quality to XR devices and to make people more productive. We believe that the interplay of XR, 5G, and Edge Computing will help create the unobtrusive XR hardware and immersive experiences of tomorrow.
3. What is unique about your business?
QuarkXR enables Cloud-native, hardware-agnostic XR development. We are the most open development platform in the XR ecosystem, and we enable Cloud integration at every level – from content creation to new XR devices, haptics, 3D codecs, etc.
4. What is your biggest achievement so far?
QuarkXR is one of the first XR companies to do 5G customer trials. We achieved this in partnership with Deutsche Telekom in 2019. Since then, we have collaborated with XR developers to enable Cloud XR at various locations around the world, utilizing 5G and Edge computing. We are now applying our streaming tech to the ever-growing market of Remote Work.
5. How do you see your company in 10 years?
We want to make QuarkXR into the dominant Cloud XR platform on the market. We believe that our company values of openness, transparency, collaboration, security, and privacy are crucial for the success of any XR platform
6. What are you like as an employer?
At QuarkXR, we value team collaboration a lot. We are solving very tough technological challenges, and thus communication, collaboration, and empathy are crucial for our success. Working at QuarkXR is definitely quite challenging, but also very rewarding. Our Platform is the interplay of many different technologies, so our team members come from a diverse technological background.
7. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the XR industry? How do you deal with them?
We definitely need more competition in the hardware space. We are looking forward to some of the tech giants to come out with compelling XR devices. That’s one of the major factors to drive technological innovation in XR. We also need new business models for this completely new medium. Bringing over old models from the Web and Mobile seems like a missed opportunity.
8. How do you handle adversity and doubt?
I think the best advice for any entrepreneur is to talk to their XR users. The XR community is a great source of inspiration and support.
9. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in VR/AR, what would it be?
Focus on the quality of your experience, and all aspects that create immersive XR content. Embrace the feedback of the community. Think about social experiences, since they are the most powerful in XR.
10. Which habit do you wish you could break?
I wouldn’t say this is a habit, but it’s definitely challenging: XR is an exciting and new medium where innovation happens every day. However, creating great experiences requires a huge amount of focus. It is important to not get distracted by the daily hype cycle.
11. What does creativity mean to you?
For me as an entrepreneur, and an engineer, creativity means ingenuity and innovation in solving the challenges of today.
12. Which book has inspired you the most?
If I have to name one book that influenced my XR career the most, that’s probably ‘Dawn of the New Everything’ by Jaron Lanier. It is a masterpiece on the history and future of XR. It’s very insightful on topics ranging from UX, applications, and business models of XR. There are many must-read authors in the space, including Tom Furness, Neal Stephenson, Ernest Cline, and many others.
13. What do you do when you’re not at work?
Over the last year everybody became more isolated. XR is the best technology we have to overcome this gap, so I take my time and try to stay up to date with what people are creating in the space. Like many other people in my generation, I’ve also found a new appreciation for and the need to reconnect with nature. So I’ve been doing a lot more hiking and trekking.
14. Who do you see as an inspiration in the industry? (Please name up to 3 people from the XR industry)
Since QuarkXR is part of both the Boost VC, and the Vive X community, I have the privilege of knowing a great number of amazing XR founders, investors, and creators. If I have to name 3 people, that would probably be Pearly Chen (HTC Vive X), Lucas Rizzotto (@_LucasRizzotto), and Maddie Callander (Boost VC).