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  • Writer's pictureKatie Richman

Loud Labs, Unknown Unknowns, and our 5th Cofounder: AI

This is a depiction of the Loud Labs founders, brainstorming our geospatial discovery platform: Hidden Layers.
This is a depiction of the Loud Labs founders, brainstorming our geospatial discovery platform: Hidden Layers.

In my last Technormal post, I told you about the startup I’m cofounding with my partners called Loud Labs. We started Loud as a series of passionate debates over a firepit — bonding over a shared hatered of how our lives our split these days, between our digital and analog lives. It was around that fire during Covid that we all committed to solving this problem together, for us, for our kids. Loud Labs is building products that integrate the digital and analog into ONE life for people, using augmented reality, location, and generative AI. If we get this right with Hidden Layers, we could work towards getting the screens out of people’s faces. Our kids can grow up participating fully in their organic, real life, enhanced with the digital tools we love.

Those fireside talks turned into our mission: To flip the relationship we have with our tech, which today relies on the human proactively driving action. To get what we want or need today, the human must always start with the device command: We must check in, scan a code, open an app, search a URL, capture an image, send, or click. Today, we must KNOW what we are looking for to find it. Today we’re surrounded by what we know. So what about discovering anything new?

This is my dad. He's a wise guy.
This is my dad. He's a wise guy.

My dad used to say:

"There are the things you KNOW you KNOW. There are the things you KNOW you don’t know. But 99% of life is comprised of the things you DON’T KNOW you DON’T KNOW."

Online, it’s a different story — web2 cracked discovery using personalized algorithms. These algorithms take hundreds of factors into account, then deliver the most contextually-relevant content for ME to me, for YOU to you. They’ve become SO adept that they now even drive discovery. TikTok’s “For You” feed is new content, specifically chosen for that specific user. Algorithmically-sourced content drives our discovery of the THINGS WE DON’T KNOW WE DON’T KNOW.

Tiktok, YouTube, Netflix, Google, Meta, Instagram, LinkedIn… they have all cracked online content discovery, providing us with recommendations for the THINGS WE DON’T KNOW WE DON’T KNOW.

BUT…what about our ‘real,’ analog lives? How does discovery happen there? The answer? It doesn’t. We are still in the same position as our ancestors, fumbling around in the dark for tools, answers, solutions, sticking to what we know. Every day in our real lives, we are BLIND to the hidden layers of people, places, and things that we would love. We wander past our favorite books, our soul mates, our greatest talents, our undiscovered passions. We miss the hidden layers. We need a discovery engine for LIFE…called Hidden Layers.

Loud Labs is building Hidden Layers — the first geospatial discovery engine for our analog lives. Producers, venue owners, creators pin select content to geolocation-fenced areas, to be discovered by the right audience of users in the right place at the right time. With your explicit permission, Hidden Layers taps into your real-time location, your identity and preferences, your memberships and statuses, and proactively alerts you to contextually-relevant content, deals, messages, offers, media, when you are in the position to act. You’re reminded you have that coupon when you enter the store parking lot…NOT on the receipt after your purchase.

And the very top layer? We’re using generative AI as the ‘host’ or assistant for the user, guiding us through the process of discovering and activating these Hidden Layers all around us.

This isn’t just an idea. Our team is building on our decades of work experience, experimentation, and past startups. Most of all? We’re passionate about ending this bifurcation of our lives. We want our kids to put the devices down and participate in life.

Let’s stop stuff like this:

Kids obsessed with their phones.
Kids today.

Loud Labs is committed to using AR and AI to make technology work for US, not the other way around. Let’s build a future where we LOOK UP.

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