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Tesla's Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Founder Tyler Lindell Opens Up

· Augmented Reality,Virtual Reality,Machine Learning,Ai,Tesla

Tesla's Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Founder Tyler Lindell Opens Up

Tyler Lindell has never had it easy in life. For most of us change is something we find very difficult. But for Tyler, it is something he has known all of his life. Tyler was born in the freezing cold of Fairbanks, Alaska before moving to the deserts of Arizona. Growing up in a family that was constantly on the move in search of new work for his parents, Tyler never got the chance to settle down in one town. However, with bad comes good. Tyler learned how to innovate and think on the fly from an early age. Tyler found himself drawn to wrestling in high school, because of the need for fast-paced decision making. Tyler never even envisioned a career in technology, let alone founding and running the augmented reality and virtual reality group for one of the most respected tech companies on the planet, Tesla Motors.

It all started back when Tyler was just a teenager. Tyler has always been drawn to the green movement and wanted to start a company that could contribute to the environment while also being a profitable enterprise. was born, Tyler would create a website to link up buyers and sellers of renewable goods. However, Tyler couldn't afford to hire a programmer. In fact, Tyler couldn't even afford office space. So from his dorm room, Tyler taught himself how to program. And from there built his own website.

With his new found knowledge of computer code, Tyler started researching the most exciting technologies that he could find. He decided that using the internet for home service needs was his next endeavor. However, shortly after starting to enter the world of internet home service, Tyler found the need to pivot again. Augmented and virtual reality had taken Tyler's breath away and his next path was clear. There was no stopping Tyler, so he acted quickly. He found a buyer for his home service company and got ready to enter the next phase of his life, augmented and virtual reality.  

Holographic Interfaces would be the stepping stone for Tyler's entry into his new life. It was a firm he founded with a friend who had been working in the industry for awhile. They would devote themselves to working with companies to create partnerships that would help these firms use augmented reality and virtual reality to create better products or run their firms more efficiently.

Holographic Interfaces found their first target in an electric automotive company that wanted to add augmented reality to their windshields for the driver to use. Tyler's team at Holographic Interfaces created the research and design for the automotive firm to offer this feature . From this partnership, Tyler found his next journey in rLoop, a hyperloop company.

rLoop was looking for help monitoring their pods. They needed to build a tool for their team to be able to monitor their pod during tests. Tyler was able to create an augmented reality interface that would allow a member of the rLoop team to view the telemetry values that were streaming from the hyperloop pod. The values produced were both immense and near real time, so the technology would have to adapt quickly. This work caught the eye of Elon Musk and so Tyler's next chapter of life began.

Tyler's initial role at Tesla was doing front end software engineering on an application that listened to all of the states of the robots in both Tesla and Gigafactory. Tyler saw a lot of the individual Tesla teams were using augmetned reality, but none of them were looking to solve big picture problems for Tesla. These divisions were just applying the technology in their own narrow problem space. Tyler started the Tesla Augmented & Virtual Reality Group to focus on the big-picture challenges that were facing the firm. The group's mission would be to solve these challenges using augmented or virtual reality when necessary. Within a few months the group grew to over 90 people. Because of Non-Disclosure Agreement reasons we couldn't discuss specific projects at Tesla, but one project that was made public was the partnership that Tesla entered with Google to produce safety glasses with augmented and virtual reality. The patents filed by the Google/Tesla partnership are public.

All of this came to an abrupt end during Tesla's massive layoffs last summer. These days Tyler helps people start augmented virtual reality departments at companies that could benefit from the technology. Tyler markets his services through his website and his podcast "Executive's Guide To Success and Freedom" found on iTunes.

A first look at Google's use of augmented reality in their Maps app:

Written by Alexander Fleiss & Edited by Rachel Weissman