About Chronos Global Academy
We are a growing startup looking for like minded people to join our mission.
WHO WE ARE
Chronos Global Academy is the first organization to offer training to the general public on what it takes to develop for Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Chronos was born out of and exists inside SURF Incubator. We are located in Downtown Seattle in the Wells Fargo Center.
We have expertise teaching immersive technology programs. Our courses are short in duration and inexpensive. We train adults individuals, corporate groups, and youth starting at 8 years-old.
“Training the next generation of Immersive Technology Developers.”
“To progress human learning through Immersive Technologies.”
We believe in equal opportunity for all human beings. We believe in the power of diversity of background, ideas, and cultures. We believe that the high-tech industry will benefit from a more balanced workplace of males and females sharing their ideas and participating in the development of products and solutions, and this balanced workplace will also benefit society at large. We believe in a work environment of respect, productivity, creativity, freedom, and responsibility.
Chronos was founded on February 15, 2015. We launched our first Virtual Reality course, Unreal Engine 4 for VR in August 2015. We launched our first Augmented Reality course a year later using Microsoft HoloLens.
We have worked with, and created a program for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Chronos also has a successful program for corporations small and large. We have expertise in training people with little or no IT background into becoming a VR/AR developer. It’s not easy, but we see Immersive Tech as a new paradigm that should offer opportunities for anyone and everyone who wants to become part of it. Our goal is to create opportunities for people in the immersive industry by providing affordable training, and reducing as much as possible the cost to access the proper hardware and software for being a VR/AR developer.
We have worked with a variety of clients and also developed projects. We have worked with creative individuals, small companies, large companies, non-profit organizations, educational organizations, and local governments.
Below is a list of questions that were asked, and answers provided by Chronos CEO, Ricardo Parker, which share a little bit of the company’s history and how the it came about.
VR has been around for over 2 decades. It’s one of those technologies that did not make huge progress for a long time, yet has existed in the psyche of futurists and tech people.
Many people in the computer industry have been looking at what the next computing platform will be. Computers started with mainframes, and then we had the PC revolution. That’s when Apple and Microsoft came into the scene, and today are one of the most valuable companies on the planet. After the PC we had a mobile revolution. There were many mobile OS and phones for at least a decade before the iPhone was released. But it was really the announcement of the iPhone by Steve Jobs in 2007 that allowed people to finally carry the internet in their pocket. Up until then, most people were relying on the internet, but resorted to showing up at a particular location that had a computer, such as their home or office. Laptops were popular, but laptops do not allow people to do computing on the street. Today it’s normal for people to literally walk and do some sort of interaction on their smartphone.
But smartphones aren’t the final product in this evolution of computing and human interaction. So what’s next? Well, in 2012 another revolution started with the kickstarter of the Oculus Rift Development Kit 1.
And that, in short, is what had me start Chronos. I missed many opportunities before in tech, in large part for not taking leadership. This time I was determined to not miss this wave no matter what.
I conceived Chronos in early 2014. That’s when I thought VR was really going to take off and become mainstream in a matter of about 5 years. I ordered an Oculus Rift DK2 and started working with it. I was impressed at what was possible, and also knew how amazing the technology would become with the right investment and talent applied to it. And that was happening. A lot of large companies were making investments in the space: Valve, HTC, Microsoft, and others. Facebook had acquired Oculus and has been investing heavily in R&D and product development. This serious investment and commitment by the large companies is what encouraged me to invest in a new VR company.
At the time, I had a web design and development company, called Imaginative Design. I had a large Real Estate firm as my main client. I approached them with the idea of creating the first virtual home (in VR) in the world, and they thought the idea was crazy. They said I was crazy. Interestingly, about 6 months earlier one of their realtors ran into me in the hall and told me that “the work I had been doing with websites was interesting, but what he really wanted to see was a 3-dimensional hologhaphic representation of a building and homes, which he could then discuss with clients”. I will never forget that encounter because it felt as if God was talking to me and telling me to do something different. I was dissatisfied with the work at the time because what I like to do the most is develop future solutions. So one day I made up my mind that I needed to change my professional life, and serendipitously, that’s when I discovered the Oculus Rift kickstarter. I ordered a DK2 right away, and it arrived 2 weeks later. I took a photo of that moment as “this thing is going to change the world”, and I knew then that I had to start a company of my own.
When I started Chronos, there was still a lot of experimentation not just by me, but by practically everyone who was doing any work in VR. I knew that I wanted for VR to not be just entertainment, and I knew that VR has the potential to be much more than entertainment. I also wanted to apply VR for education and training simulations. In trying to think of a name for a company I thought of what name I could use to link VR to a time machine. A time machine is a science fiction concept that is probably impossible to build. But I thought a lot of about it, and I thought “if it were possible, what would it look like?” And I concluded that if it were possible it would be VR. And Chronos is the Greek god of time in Greek Mythology. And so I named the company Chronos with a reference to time as the 4th dimension. VR is 3-dimensional, and so we are moving from interacting with a 2D screen to now interacting in a virtual world in the most natural way. And time takes us a further dimension than 3D because time is the 4th dimension. Basically, I don’t think it serves us to import all of the content that we have in 2D into a 3D world. VR/AR is an opportunity to create an entire new paradigm for computing and human interaction: one of letepresence, teletranslation, and a simulation that is almost as good as the real thing. I want to apply this technology to education and training.
No. Experiencing VR was merely a confirmation of what I already believed. I have been dreaming about VR since I was at least 14 years-old. I remember going to the video store (similar to Blockbuster) when I was about 13 or 14 years old, and renting the movie Lawmower Man. I watched that movie probably 5 times in a row, and I loved it. I went back to the video store 3 times to renew the VHS tape so I could keep watching it. I loved the idea that VR has the potential to increase human intelligence, and that idea is also part of our mission, which is “to progress human learning through immersive technologies”. That movie was very ahead of its time, but VR was very expensive and inaccessible to the masses for the longest time. It wasn’t till 2012 after the revolution of smartphones that VR because finally accessible and affordable through Oculus. And the VR we have today is lightyears ahead of the first prototypes DK1 and DK2, when there was almost no content available.
Many people thought that VR would be adopted by the masses in about 3 years. The projections was that VR would take over the world very quickly. But VR is a big step for most people. It’s still clunky, and in the beginning people were very hesitant to attach a brick to their face, which does not feel natural. The iPhone gained adoption very quickly, but most people already had cell phones at the time. Transitioning from a cell phone to a smartphone for anyone is a no-brainer. We had the popularity of the Blackberry as proof that people wanted a handheld device to communicate, and it just needed to work better. But VR is different. VR is a new paradigm, and one which requires a redesign of everything that we know. Even the software that we use is different for most professionals in high-tech.
For this reason, and also because I founded Chronos on a long-term vision (20 years), I decided to start the Academy. The talent and skill that we need for the projects and apps that we want is just not there yet. We need tens of millions of people working in the immersive tech industry. And most people do not have the skills with 3D design, 3D modeling, and working with a physics engine to create a VR experience.
CEO & Founder
With over 20 years of experience working for high-tech companies, Ricardo loves to work on advanced technologies that brings society into the future. In his spare time he is a devoted father who likes to hike and be in nature. He also likes photography and philosophy.
COO & CPO
Peter has over 12 years of experience in Software and IT Project Management specific to large-scale software application development and implementation. In his spare time he likes to sign Karaoke and have fun buying and selling Real Estate.