Interview with Michael Valdsgaard, CEO at AR Software Company: London Dynamics

We deliver cutting edge Augmented Reality (AR) software to retailers and brands across the globe.

Simply by using a smartphone camera, without the need for any other apps or features, customers shopping online can view products in their own space, which has a huge impact on their behaviour and their decision making.

What sets London Dynamics apart is the quality of imagery we create, which is true to real life, Added to that, our software is infinitely scalable while the speed of our load times are second to none. These factors combined make it easy for brands and retailers to simply plug our solution straight into their existing infrastructure without any need for complicated IT involvement. Not even a single line of code is needed. More importantly, we provide the best possible experience for online shoppers.

But doing Augmented Reality well takes time and investment. It is easy for anyone to show a 3D model but doing it in real-time requires a multitude of factors, from loading speed to a complete lack of errors. This takes real talent, dedication and drive and I am proud to say that the London Dynamics team has this in abundance. 
London Dynamics Sponsor | Retail Without Borders

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The short answer is that I was trying to predict the future! There is no doubt that AR will change how we live our lives and, in time, 100% of retailers will have some form of AR – it is just a question of when.

I spent 20 years at IKEA, starting off on the shop floor before taking on a series of management roles, culminating in a position where I led digital transformation worldwide. A real landmark moment was the launch of IKEA place, which I was fortunate enough to do on stage with Apple’s Tim Cook. IKEA Place is an AR offering that has been used by hundreds of thousands of shoppers across the globe.

Because of this, I knew there was an appetite for this kind of technology across the entire retail spectrum.

I think, particularly if you look at areas such as luxury retail, they have really been found wanting. They are often miles behind in the online experience they offer because they fear losing an air of exclusivity online. It’s understandable. They have flagship stores in some of the most expensive postcodes in the most expensive cities for real estate worldwide. But shoppers now demand more and that is where solutions like AR must be deployed.

The ability for customers to view products in their own space is transformative for products such as luxury watches and furniture. It is also personalised and exclusive, which is perfect for luxury shoppers looking to spend tens-of-thousands-of pounds online, which was unheard of until recently.

If you look at other areas of online shopping, the strides that have been made in product delivery for online orders is nothing short of fantastic. However, in many cases, the actual experience of shopping online is still pretty plain. I saw a huge gap to redress the balance and start truly to inspire shoppers online bringing them an experience.


What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to come up with a solution to a problem that you are sure someone will pay money for to be solved. Test that thinking on potential customers, think it through, and once ready go for it 100%. Don’t let anyone (including yourself) stop you. It’s hard work, so roll up your sleeves as well.

I’d also advise entrepreneurs to pick a niche and become the best in the world, rather than trying to spread out too much. Starting a company is like a rocket launch – you need a lot of hard work, energy, and complete focus for takeoff.

I would also encourage people not to be afraid of failure. Your plan will most likely not work in its original format. Keep your eyes on your vision and adapt your approach. Failiure is good as it humbles us and makes us grow. There is no smooth way to success so be strong!

What can we hope to see from London Dynamics in the future?

It may sound grand, but we want to blow people’s minds. We want to change the way that people shop and to liberate eCommerce from its current shackles.

We are currently in the ‘first follower’ phase but the question I would ask brands and retailers is ‘why not use AR to really differentiate your self? While online shopping has obviously been growing and growing for many years now, nobody foresaw the acceleration that the Covid-19 pandemic brought about – and the reliance brands and retailers would come to have on the online experience they provide customers.

This has created an environment where retailers are looking long and hard about their eCommerce systems, how they can build brand loyalty and ultimately evolve in line with the demands and expectations of their customers.

What you will see from London Dynamics in the future is the integral role we will play in helping visionary companies evolve their eCommerce offering.