“The 3D Internet is Here:” Meet Chapel Hill-based Ultisim Founder Richard Boyd – GrepBeat | Panda Anku

Ultisim’s 3D simulations and models can depict anything from car dealerships to college campuses to the (upper) human body.

Richard Boyd is open: he wants to make the triangle the new center of the metaverse.

Boyd is the founder of Chapel Hill-based Ultisim, a startup that is the result of decades of experience building innovative gaming technology companies across the industry.

Whether it was at aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, who founded Virtual World Labs after they acquired his computer games startup 3DSolve, or if he previously ran 3dVillage, where he pioneered 3D walking tours, Boyd has developed a flair for where the technology is going.

In this case, Boyd firmly believes that the 3D Internet is already here, whether we know it or not.

Ultisim has already successfully created digital twins for the University of Arizona campus, enabling the college to monitor energy and water usage and improve facility planning. The startup also pioneered the simulation of a Toyota dealership.

“Simulations like this surpass textbooks, they surpass other ways of training people,” Boyd said. “But then you can also use this as an operational tool to actually track what’s going on at your dealership, factory or hospital.”

Boyd believes that hospitals in particular have the potential to save 100,000 or more lives in the US each year just by implementing simulations.

Boyd is also CEO of Carrboro-based Tanjo, a startup that creates platforms for people and machines to work together. Tanjo was acquired by a private financial services firm in 2019 but continues to operate as an independent company. (Boyd has also previously been a subject of ours Download Q&A series.)

Boyd said his vision has been consistent since the early days of Ultisim, which is rooted in his previous gaming experiences. It was just a matter of waiting for the markets to catch up.

adaptation to change

A Metaverse startup for digital twins in the 21st century, Ultisim was also there to develop more applications in education and healthcare when the pandemic hit. As Boyd said, despite the (obvious) downsides, the pandemic has accelerated a number of trends that businesses could benefit from.

“You definitely have to anticipate changes in the market environment,” Boyd said. “That’s what we did and that’s why we backed off a bit and focused on government work because government kept spending.”

Just as the moving image transformed the last century, so will simulation in the next phase of society, Boyd said.

Richard Boyd, the founder of Ultisim

“For the first time in human history, we can actually have these rich, deep models of the future or current or recent paths that we can get into and really understand the structure because we have AI and machine learning and we have this 3D visualization capability ‘ Boyd said.

In the future, every company will be able to simulate, model, predict and adapt accordingly. Ultisim will be a primary tool for this, radically transforming everything from business operations to learning.

“The teacher is now going to take you inside the human body, or to the surface of Mars, or whatever great adventure we’re going to go on today, where we can do little simulations to teach,” Boyd said. “We’re going to make all of that possible, and it’s an exciting time to be here.”

As Ultisim looks to grow, the startup has partnered with Croquet, a Los Angeles-based company that developed the first open Metaverse operating system (OS) for independent, cross-platform virtual world creation. Croquet allows Ultisim to create rich 3D worlds on the web, Boyd said.

“We’re going with this idea that it’s all about web browsing and removing friction and making it easy to create and share those worlds,” Boyd said. “This vision is something that will unlock new skills.”

With great talent pouring out of nearby universities, Boyd is confident that the Triangle can carve out its own role in the growing Metaverse technology saga. Silicon Valley is no longer the only place to drive technological innovation, Boyd said.

“I hear a lot that you can’t have startups in North Carolina,” Boyd said. “‘You have to do them out on the west coast.’ I’ve shown that we can get capital from elsewhere, bring it here and build it.”

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