Portfolio Company Spotlight: Red 6

Red 6 is a software and hardware development company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) driven high fidelity augmented reality (AR). Founded in 2018 by Dan Robinson, Nick Bicanic, and Glenn Snyder, the company is revolutionizing augmented reality for military training applications worldwide. Here are some questions we asked of CEO Dan Robinson.

MC: What motivated you to start Red 6?

DR: The United States military is currently struggling with its state of readiness. The Air Force is currently 2,000 pilots short, unable to simulate near-peer adversaries, and spending billions of dollars per year on training that is not fit for purpose, the situation is critical.

Augmented reality represents a new paradigm in training. The ability to generate synthetic aircraft can revolutionize how our aircrews train, increasing readiness, lethality, and driving value. In its current form, however, AR faces two critical limitations — it doesn’t work outdoors and it doesn’t work in dynamic environments.

MC: What is typically used in flight training today?

DR: In today’s modern battlespace, aerial engagements occur both beyond and within the visual range. Air dominance is gained not only with the best aircraft but through the skill and professionalism of pilots that can only be developed with training that mirrors the battlespace. In response, the USAF has developed Live Virtual Constructive (LVC), a synthetic approach to training that addresses many of the shortcomings of the current training system. LVC allows live pilots to not only fly against real aircraft, but also allows pilots in simulators and computer-generated targets to be displayed in the aerial battlespace. However, current LVC technology has major limitations and is unable to support within visual range training with anything other than a live asset.

Red 6 is revolutionizing Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training. Red 6 brings the virtual and constructive assets into the real-world by allowing pilots and ground operators to see synthetic threats in real-time, outdoors and, critically, in high-speed environments. The company’s AR solution, ATARI (Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality Integration), is a flight system that can supply a joint augmented battlespace that can more adequately prepare fighter pilots in advanced air combat maneuvering than a ground simulator system.

MC: What are the implications of Red 6 on the military?

DR: The USAF synthetic training strategy offers a compelling use case for Red 6’s dynamic computing, providing critical capabilities and cost savings to warfighters, commanders, and service leadership alike. Simultaneously, this opportunity provides Red 6 a high-profile platform to develop, implement, and iterate unique technological capabilities within the broader commercial world of spatial computing.

MC: What are the implications beyond the military?

DR: As a technology, augmented reality has the potential to fundamentally alter every aspect of the way humans interact with each other and the world around them. However, we believe that thus far, all AR technology developments suffered from a lack of meaningful focus — namely they were all solutions in search of a problem. Solving an acutely defined problem for the Air Force has not only allowed us to focus our resources, but has also forced us to solve a complex problem of tracking and display in an extremely challenging dynamic environment.

The unique solutions we have developed will naturally scale to broader civilian environments and we look forward to being a key foundation of the trillion-dollar civilian AR market.

MC: What have been some of Red 6’s biggest highlights?

DR: We are incredibly proud of receiving a SBIR Phase 1 grant. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Dan Robinson, recently sat on an AFWERX panel where he discussed the role AR & VR will play in the military. You can listen to his insights here. On August 30th, we flew our first sortie with both the pilot and back-seater wearing our augmented reality headsets.

MC: What is next for the Red 6 team?

DR: We are about to start fundraising for our Series A. If you have ideas for potential introductions, please let someone from the Moonshots team know.

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