Friday, September 18, 2020
Sept. 18, 2020

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Skyview grads’ ONtheGO Platforms sold to Silicon Valley company

Atheer bought company which will remain in Portland

By , Columbian Business Editor

ONtheGO Platforms, a local innovator in software development for smart glasses, has been acquired by a Silicon Valley company that  also is working on smart glasses technology, the two companies announced Wednesday.

The financial terms of the company’s acquisition by Atheer, of Mountain View, Calif., were not disclosed. Ryan Fink, co-founder and chief executive officer of ONtheGO Platforms, now becomes vice president of market development at Atheer. Co-founder Ty Frackiewicz  becomes  the company’s director of projects.

The Skyview High School graduates created ONtheGO Platforms, which has five employees at an office in Portland, in 2012. Both still live in Vancouver. Gary Peck, who remains with the company, is also a co-founder.

Fink said all ONtheGO employees will remain in Portland, relocating from Southeast Portland to downtown.

“The team is very happy and our investors are very happy,” Fink told The Columbian. “So, it was a good deal all around.”

Atheer pioneered what it calls the Augmented Interactive Reality, or AIR, computing platform that is responsive to gestures, voice and head motions by users of mobile smart glasses. That company has some 40 employees and has attracted funding from some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors. It builds hardware that powers smart glasses and an enterprise suite to incorporate the software into workflows.

ONtheGO Platforms built its own gesture-based software for smart glasses called Augmented Reality Interface, or ARI for short. It has secured three patents and has six patents pending. Those will be added to Atheer’s portfolio of gesture interaction and visually based technologies, bringing the total for the combined company to 14 issued patents and nearly 50 pending patents. ONtheGO’s software will move onto Atheer’s platform early next year. 

Fink said ONtheGO Platforms raised about $3 million since its founding, mostly from prominent investors. The company had gone through ups and downs as the heavily-hyped smart glasses failed to break through to a broad consumer market, leaving a narrower niche of commercial and industrial users. It had focused its development and marketing on gesture-based software for workplace and some consumer uses, and its hands-free technology is useful in such work environments as  restaurants, medical services and power line repair. Fink said that 360 companies are using ONtheGO’s gesture interface software.

Fink said other, larger companies expresses interest in acquiring ONtheGO Platforms but that “Atheer ended up being the best fit.” Atheer was open to having ONtheGO employees remain in Portland, which is a growing center for software development.

“They see a lot of advantages from being in the Northwest,” he said. “It made sense for us to stay here.”