Over the last two years, accessible mental health care has been in increasingly high demand as the world struggles to cope with fallout from the ongoing pandemic. TRIPPis a meditation and mindfulness app for XR designed to help users relax and find their inner peace. Employing “trippy” visuals to achieve its goal (hence the name), the subscription-based app is available for the low price of $20 a year. Though previously only available on the Oculus Quest, via the Oculus and PlayStation VR stores, the meditation app announced recently that it will soon debut on AR headset manufacturer Nreal’s AR glasses, the Nreal Light, which notably pair with Qualcomm-based 5G phones.
This announcement helps round out a busy year of news for TRIPP. Early this year, it participated in Deutsche Telekom’s Hubraum Mixed Reality Program. This initiative gave TRIPP and other application developers a chance to partner with Nreal and Deutsche Telekom to introduce new mobile AR apps to Nreal’s AR glasses, a precursor to this latest announcement. TRIPP, along with five other companies was also recently accepted into T-Mobile’s 2021 Fall Wellness Accelerator Program to help drive the adoption of wellness-focused 5G use cases.
Currently available and powered by 5G in Germany, Japan, Spain, Korea and Hong Kong, the AR version of TRIPP broadens the platform’s reach beyond VR. Instead of transporting users into a virtual, fully immersive world, Nreal’s 5G-powered glasses enable users to experience TRIPP virtually anywhere they might need it. Highly immersive VR apps can completely disconnect users from reality and require cumbersome headsets. Nreal’s AR glasses, however, offer a new, partially immersive AR TRIPP experience that should appeal to a broader range of users. Although currently there are no devices that support both AR and VR versions of TRIPP, I could see that functionality coming to Oculus Quest someday.
I believe that this is just the beginning for TRIPP. The company’s momentum is growing, having recently raised $11M in Series A funding. Consequently, its partner Nreal recently closed its own $100M Series C round of funding, valuing the brand at $700M. TRIPP also recently made its first acquisition, PsyAssist, whose digital solutions target stress management and mental health.
While other companies in the XR wellness space are leaning into more clinical uses of their applications, TRIPP is laser focused on the consumer. Use cases like TRIPP do a great job of evangelizing the benefits of XR to the masses. The reality is that VR, with its full immersion and required headsets, does not scale as well as AR, which users can experience with just their smartphones and Nreal’s AR glasses. If TRIPP’s goal is to improve mental health for as many people as possible, then AR is the way to go. I expect we’ll see TRIPP expand into more AR headsets and operators around the world in the years to come. We could even see them offering Mixed Reality solutions that bridge AR and VR, now that TRIPP has experiences on the market for both. I’ll continue to watch with interest.