Bring LaserTag with You Anywhere.
Our investment in Thomas Suarez and WiTag
Thomas is a unique young man that blew us away right from the moment we first met him. Still in high school, he pitched his new company WiTag on “Planet of the Apps,” with all of the poise that founders twice his age struggled to muster. Maybe it’s because he started earlier than most. Here’s his TED talk at age 12, teaching a room full of adults about the multiple iPhone apps he built the prior year.
His company WiTag creates real-world augmented reality (AR) experiences. Their first product is an AR smartphone laser tag game requiring no external hardware. WiTag gives you all the excitement and adrenaline of laser tag, but allows you to experience it anywhere and anytime. By utilizing the sensors and radios found in modern smartphones, WiTag provides a seamless laser tag experience requiring only you, your phone, and your friends.
If it wasn’t for TV episode release dates, they might wait for ARKit to launch on iOS later this year (because I’ve seen their future demos and it’s incredibly cool). That said, the game is super fun today. Go check it out!
We’re excited to announce our $100k investment in Thomas and his team to bring WiTag to the world. See this episode of “Planet of the Apps” exclusively on Apple Music.
I recently asked Thomas about the WiTag journey:
Aaron: How did you get the idea for this app? Thomas: My friends and I loved playing laser tag, but traveling to a dedicated facility and attaching cumbersome gear made little sense when I realized that we have all the sensors we need inside modern smartphones.
Aaron:Who are you targeting with your product? Thomas: WiTag targets casual mobile users who want to play an engaging game that takes place in the real world. Many people have played and love laser tag, and own smartphones, so there is a wide demographic available. Even those who have never played laser tag can now join in the fun.
Aaron: In one sentence, who are you and what is your company? Thomas: I am a software and hardware developer who is passionate about technology, and enjoys playing laser tag. My startup, WiTag Inc, creates unique AR experiences, such as our first product which allows anyone to play laser tag, anytime and anywhere, using just their smartphone.
Aaron: How do you differentiate from the competition? Thomas: Other smartphone laser tag games require external hardware to function. WiTag is unique in that it uses just the sensors and radios found in modern smartphones, which drastically lowers the barrier of entry for users.
Aaron: What does diversity mean to you? Thomas: To me, diversity means exploring ideas from everyone, no matter their background. It is important to understand and appreciate every point of view, as it leads to unforeseen avenues for innovation.
Aaron: What are the apps you can’t live without (aside from your product)? Thomas: Snapchat, Spotify, Lyft, Slack, Asana, Google Photos.
Aaron: What founders do you admire? Thomas: I admire Elon Musk (Tesla/SpaceX), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Limor “ladyada” Fried (Adafruit), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), and many others. Each of these founders perseveres, learns from failure, and cares deeply about their mission and vision.
Aaron: What tech leader do you look up to and/or would most like to ask for advice? What would that advice be? Thomas: I would most like to ask Elon Musk for advice. It would be enlightening to hear directly from an innovative futurist who is making his dreams into reality.
Aaron: What does success look like to you? Thomas: To me, success is doing and making. Even if there are failures along the way, they ultimately result in success, as they create new paths for unforeseen ideas. Failure is just success in a different context.
Aaron: What kind of culture do you thrive in? Thomas: My startup and I thrive in a fast-paced, energetic environment that explores ideas from every team member.