This is the final episode in the 2022 Product Awards series. Here, Ubiety Technologies CPO Nacho Andrade speaks with Kura Technologies Founding CEO Kelly Peng. They quickly got into the topic of digital transformation. This has resulted in a hugely diverse VR market, with clients in automotive, medical, and smart homes. They also discussed why Kelly believes the enterprise companies are the early adopters who will pave the way for consumers. And of course, Kelly shares what she believes makes a great product manager.
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On the diverse VR market
The conversation really got rolling when Nacho asked about digital transformation. The effect of the past 2 years has been massive on virtual reality. Kelly gives a glimpse into the diverse VR market.
“Training is a very large market. It could be medical training. It could be automotive assembling training. And it could also be student training. Also smart homes, smart office, remote collaborations. COVID make people [want to do] this video thing right now. There are so many people reaching out to us that want to use Kura for video conferences.
“Five out of 10 automotive companies have paid orders with us. Almost every single smartphone computer company has paid orders with us. And all the video conference tools want to upgrade their video conference tools with holographic video conference tools so people can collaborate better. Even construction tools, even the government.
“In automotive factories I see there are already many AR VR headsets there. They are being used for different use cases. For data visualizations, color changing, people’s driving reaction time testing. I’m very amazed at all the industries, from smart manufacturers, smart homes, that are already using the existing devices. And some portion which they are not fully satisfied, but they are already adopting those. And they reach out to us [to say] if we have your product in our hand that can solve the demand. Because we have been waiting for a product like this for decades.
“And so I’m very happy to see people integrating AR. [Someone at a Tesla] factory told us that they want to switch the phone or tablet based training into an AR class so people can be hands free. So working on a car while seeing things. The digital organizational transformation is huge, especially in the past couple years.”
On how B2B leads to B2C in VR
At one point, Nacho asked if greater use of VR will create better VR tech. Is the industry reaching that tipping point yet? Kelly said it is still B2B companies, but these will open the door for consumers. They will add to the diverse VR market.
“I think it’s definitely getting much better. So for example, the pandemic has been happening for a couple of years. It changed people’s behaviors, including we do video comm. More often we want a video call to feel just like in person. Like I, for example, sometimes do video call, I won’t be able to show my notebook to other person. I can write and draw something on my notebook, they can just show up as a second screen. The full technology for doing that does not fully exist.
“So I feel like there will be an explosive increase in technology use, along with pandemic. Even the end of the pandemic. Because for example, people using phones on and off, like right now. Like when you started using phones initially, or start using computer initially for business, it immediately goes into home with others. So I see enterprise as the initial adoption market. And the consumer will follow after.”
On what makes a great product manager
“They need to be good at communication, and able to grasp what people actually want. Sometimes you’ll talk a lot but don’t get what you want. And to be able to take notes. So you’re able to translate the user feedback to the product specs. Communicate with an engineering team. And also have some technical background. Some of them may not be engineers directly, but have some technical background. Like understanding part of the software stack, the code, so they can communicate with engineers. That is also like a bonus point.
“Next is to have a good sense of design. But different products need different ones. Like if a software application they show to product manager looks ugly or something. Or they can see the color combination is just not right. Then you should go to a designer. Or like it’s a new application does not fit into the manual. The manual color jumping to this just feels wrong. So have a good sense of that.
“And being able to manage clearly a Gantt chart. There are many things coming to a product or a project. There is hardware, software, supply chains, clients’ requirement, paid orders, all of those. Able to tie those into a Gantt chart, so you can see how that impact things and not forgetting things.
“And I think the next one I think is very important. They need to be a bit harsh. They need to be able to set deadlines and kick a few asses if they have to.
“It’s sometimes hard to find all those characteristics in one person.”
About the speaker
About the host
Big idea product leader specializing in the space between 0 to 1, digital transformation, and innovation.