Company: Right Hemisphere
HQ: Fremont, CA, with an R&D center in Auckland, New Zealand
Management: Michael Lynch is the chief executive officer. He was previously at 7th Level, a developer of video games. Mark Thomas is president, chief technology officer, and a co-founder of the company. He previously founded CADTech, a New Zealand-based CAD reseller. Earlier this year, Right Hemisphere appointed Robert Eve as vice president of worldwide marketing. Eve held senior level posts at several companies, including Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle.
Investors: The company received Series B funding of $12.5 million from Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, and graphics-chip company Nvidia in April 2005.
Business Model: Right Hemisphere’s software allows companies to turn their complicated engineering data and processes into displays suited for interactive training, technical documentation, and marketing communications. For instance, its product might translate an aircraft manufacturer’s complex designs into visualizations and computer-generated animations. What’s more, the software works with Microsoft Office, allowing 3-D files to be dropped into Word and Powerpoint files, or a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat. Right Hemisphere’s target markets are the aerospace, defense, automotive, construction, and industrial equipment industries. For digital artists and graphics professionals, it also offers a free software product, Deep Paint, which enables textured painting on digital images.
Competitors: Informative Graphics, Actify, Spicer, Immersive Design, Lattice3D
Dirt: Companies such as Right Hemisphere have emerged as an adjunct to the computer aided design (CAD) software industry. Developers who work with CAD software are accustomed to its complexities, but the rest of us don’t want to have to learn a new language. Thus, the aim of companies in the 3-D viewing sector is an expansionary one: to give non-technical users the ability to integrate and manipulate complex graphical data in everyday software applications.
Right Hemisphere’s recent cash infusion from blue-chip investors such as Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures is a sign of the ongoing optimism in both the company and sector – but we’re still not waiting on overnight success stories. To date, the 3-D viewing business has matured very slowly. Competitor Informative Graphics, for instance, was founded in 1990, and Spicer dates all the way back to 1983. (Did they even have software companies back then?)