Blair Barbour is the founder of Photon-X and the inventor behind the patented 3-D chip technology the business is built upon. "Our core competency is developing 3-D sensor chips for single aperture, single lens applications," he said. "We service the medical industry developing wound care and pain management devices, the oil gas industry developing robotics and we building toys for game platforms like the Xbox."
Barbour has worked with the science behind the patents since graduate school and at other employers, but saw the opportunity to do something more with it that prompted him to launch Photon-X in 2000. "The actual chip itself is patented so no one else is doing anything like this," he said. "The chip is passive so it doesn't have to look for light and we get much, much higher resolution than our competitors. In addition, the analytics we can do behind the data is phenomenal compared to other 3-D sensors. For example, we can measure your facial emotions in real time and give feedback to the environment such as a simulation. The analytic power behind what we do is the company's strength in my mind."
Barbour's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be open minded and be all in. "Make sure you have the entrepreneurial spirit before starting," he said. "Lots of people have great ideas and willpower but you have to put it all together. Seek out all the resources and advice and help that you can, and if you accept all of them, then you have a small chance of making it through. It's tough. You have to live it and breathe it."