AR Startup Brilliant Labs Secures $3M Seed Funding from Oculus & Siri Co-founders – Road to VR

Brilliant Labs, an AR startup working to integrate AI into daily life, announced that it has raised $3 million in seed funding which it will use to expand its team and invest in R&D for its open-source, AI-powered smartglasses.

The funding round was led by Brendan Iribe, co-founder of Oculus, Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri, Eric Migicovsky, founder of Pebble, and Plug & Play Ventures, among others.

Founded in 2019, Brilliant Labs describes its design approach as “embodied intelligence.” Its one-eyed ‘Monocle’ smartglasses dev kit is an open-source device which began shipping in February 2023, offering up a single-lens design that’s supposed to clip onto existing eyewear. For now, Monocle boasts a six-hour battery life with a charging case, which includes fast charging technology.

Monocle | Image courtesy Brilliant Labs

Similar to Google Glass, Brilliant Labs’ Monocle serves up text via a single waveguide, doing things like letting you see important information while remaining present in the moment. Monocle also includes an embedded microphone, computer vision-ready camera, and hackable FPGA accelerator chip.

In addition to the latest funding round, Brilliant Labs also announced the launch of arGPT, the company’s first ChatGPT integration for Monocle, letting developers directly use the generative AI as well as build apps on top of arGPT.

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“We believe that Generative AI is the key enabler for AR, so at Brilliant Labs, we’re building an open-source ecosystem to support developers and creatives reimagining the future, and Monocle is just the beginning. We’re excited to see what developers create with it,” said Bobak Tavangar, Founder and CEO of Brilliant Labs. “We’re thrilled to have the support of our investors as we usher in a new era of embodied intelligence – the intersection of AI and AR.”

Other investors in its seed funding round include Steve Sarowitz, founder of Paylocity and Chairman of Wayfarer Studios, Nirav Patel, former core team member at Oculus and founder of Framework, Francisco Tolmasky, member of the original iPhone team, and Moveon Technologies.

Want to know the difference between smartglasses and AR glasses? Check out our primer on what’s what (and why everyone is confused).