Aharon Cagle, CEO and Co-Founder of glimmar studied theology in college and was on a path to being a Rabbi when a friend introduced him to the design industry. Having built a digital design portfolio, he ended up sitting down and meeting with a design agency and was hired right on the spot, the next day he was working on their largest account. And as they say, the rest is history.
Aharon has known his team for over ten years. He met some while working at other firms, and even met glimmar’s COO while playing the game The Lord of the Rings Online. The one thing his team shared, beyond design and development was a deep love for storytelling, new technology and gaming. Most recently he brought them together to create an augmented reality game, MarchQuest. MarchQuest redefined the role-playing game by placing it in the real world — making the player an active participant in the narrative. It was nominated for several awards and was chosen to participate in Facebook’s fbStart program. This is when Aharon knew he had the right team to take on the next big challenge in augmented reality — advertising.
As a Creative Director for 18 years in the digital industry he has worked on his fair share of campaigns. So it makes sense that someone who has been there, and done that, wants to change the advertising industry, forever.
“Digital advertising must change”, says Aharon “The 80 million Millennials in the US who are driving this $134B industry are challenging us to create more authentic and immersive ad experiences. By harnessing the power of augmented reality glimmar is answering that call to action”.
glimmar helps agencies and brands create and serve immersive augmented reality experiences on your smartphone without the need for a third party app.
The idea for glimmar came to Aharon while he was working on and promoting MarchQuest. He wanted to give people the experience of MarchQuest direct from a display ad and knew that AR would be the perfect fit for accomplishing this. But there was a problem. To experience AR from an ad you needed a third-party app. That’s when he came to the realization that there needed to be an easier, more seamless solution and that solution lay within the smartphone’s browser. However, there was a roadblock. Until Apple gave developers camera access through Safari, this would never be a viable solution. That all changed on September 15th when Apple released ARKit and opened up camera access in Safari. As certified Apple developers, Aharon took this idea to his team and glimmar was born. It was the right place and the right time.
When deciding on the next steps to building their business, they decided to apply to UpTech, particularly because of its focus in empowering data-driven startups. They wanted to come through the program for the infrastructure and stability that a startup needs at the beginning stages. They realized that even with a solid and experienced team, there are things they don’t know, and might not even realize they don’t know. They quickly recognized that UpTech provided that clarity and guidance.
A normal day for Aharon consists of waking up at 5am and working for a few hours before even coming into the office. Aharon says that he likes the silence of the early morning, “when the world is still and I can focus my entire energy on the complex problems”. This early morning ritual allows him to focus his passion into his work while also bringing a clear head and mind to his team through the work day. Aharon enjoys longer than usual work days, because his passion is his work and not something he dreads. When he isn’t leading the charge at glimmar, Aharon loves to take his dog to French Park and walk the nature trails and tinker with the latest game project he is working on.
“We are entering a great new age, not just for advertising but for how we visualize and experience the world around us”, states Aharon “When Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) says that augmented reality is the ‘next big thing’, it’s time to sit up and take notice. This excites us and pushes us forward every single day, because we know that we are at the forefront of something truly special.”