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Monitoring cognitive changes in real time: An Interview with Adrian Brodesser, CEO of SOMAREALITY

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Bianca Iulia Simion

· 4 min read
Monitoring cognitive changes in real time: An Interview with Adrian Brodesser,  CEO of SOMAREALITY
Read the interview with Adrian Brodesser, CEO of SOMAREALITY, as he discusses the company's real-time eye-tracking technology.

Eye tracking solutions systematically capture and measure involuntary tiny eye movements and gestures, which generates accurate insights about visual attention, cognitive processes, and reactions — enabling researchers to expand scientific knowledge of behavior.

Adrian Brodesser, CEO and co-founder of SOMAREALITY together with his co-founder Michel Varilek built a real-time cognitive monitoring service: eye tracking technology. With a background in biomedical engineering and experience at the German Aerospace Center's "Cognitive Robotics" department, Adrian brings a unique blend of scientific expertise and entrepreneurial drive to SOMAREALITY. The company's technology, which is hardware-agnostic and integrates into wearables, medical devices, and digital therapeutics, offers clients insights into their cognitive status in real-time.

1. What ‘aha’ moment led to the founding of SOMAREALITY?

During my time at the German Aerospace Center for cognitive robotics, we had many big companies approach us with the need to monitor cognitive changes in real-time outside a laboratory setting to better understand training processes or make robots aware of their user. In the end, we never managed to develop a solution since sensors such as EEG are limited to laboratory settings with low / no movement and are not able to understand the context of their surroundings. I saw that there was a huge industry need that was not being met with the current technology and approaches on the market.

2. What was your drive back then? What change did you want to make?

I am a big healthcare enthusiast. I love measuring my healthcare status and understanding how nutrition and sports can impact my quality of life. I believe that the future of healthcare will be healthcare wearables that enable everyone to oversee their health data – in real-time. While we already have many solutions for insights into activity levels and sleep there is currently no solution that enables (me) to track my cognitive ability in real-time during the day. With our technology, we will enable the first continuous real-time cognitive monitoring and close this crucial missing gap. Enabling everyone to understand their cognitive state anywhere, anytime.

3. How does SOMAREALITY's eye-tracking technology significantly contribute to improving training processes? What specific market gap does it address?

The application areas for real-time cognitive monitoring are nearly endless. That being said, as a young company we need to focus our attention on selected GTM areas to validate our technology and ability to scale. Because of the already validated market need we first focus on real-time cognitive monitoring during high-stress / high-risk environments. A great example is pilot training: Pilots are being trained in very expensive simulators (up to EUR 200 Mio) that are booked 24/7 so each hour is very expensive. By measuring the cognitive state of a pilot in real time we can detect individual training needs and reduce training hours.

4. How do you scale your business model while ensuring financial success in the digital health sector?

While we currently focus on training in high-stress / risk environments we already get a lot of inbound interest in the field of digital health from customers such as the NHS, Children´s Hospital of La, Medical University of Vienna, or the Charité in Berlin. Here the use cases currently evolve around the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases as well as other diseases such as biomarkers for alcohol addiction for example. These customers mostly buy our SDK and pay our yearly licensing which scales very well. Being already integrated in studies like this that show the potential of our technology in the field of digital health is extremely exciting.

5. How does SOMAREALITY guide and empower clients to make informed decisions when adopting your eye-tracking solutions?

It depends on the client. As mentioned, before we currently focus our business development efforts on enterprise customers in the field of training in high-risk / stress environments. Here we often work very closely with the client to test our technology in their use case and integrate it into their existing workflows. Some of them have never used eye tracking before and now integrate it because of our cognitive monitoring abilities. Customers such as universities or research centers often already have eye-tracking experience and just integrate our SDK without any additional help.

6. What are potential exit scenarios for investors supporting SOMAREALITY?

As IP driven deep tech startup we have identified so-called exit gates for the next 3 years. On one side we have eye-tracking providers that want to integrate us to offer their customers additional insights – therefore sell more of their products. We also have big tech companies such as Samsung and Apple who are now entering the eye-tracking market and have an interest in understanding how they can use this data in different ways. Last but not least, one of our many enterprise customers could also become a potential exit partner.

7. How do you envision SOMAREALITY future growth?

After closing this funding round we will focus all our attention on our growth again. While we have already validated our technology, we still need to prove the team’s ability to scale SOMAREALITY commercially. Just two weeks ago we got the news that we got selected for an 800k pilot project with the Austrian Armed Forces. We expect to see many more in the next two years. That being said our focus lies in the validation of our core market by closing ~ 1 mio ARR before entering new markets. We also want to further protect our technology with an international patent. I believe that this is one of our core strengths – for a deep tech company we have been revenue-focused from day one which is very unusual.

8. Why should investors consider being part of SOMAREALITY's journey?

Our technology has many great use cases but also some very dangerous ones. We want to partner with investors who want to help us make the world better. We are not looking for investors who just want to multiply their money no matter the cost. If you are an investor who sees the potential of continuous cognitive monitoring outside the laboratory and the good, it can create we would love to hear from you!

SOMAREALITY is a European deep tech startup with existing IP, over 2mio in collected research funding, an amazing team, and a committed sales pipeline of over 1mio EUR – and we are just getting started.

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