Why Did A Young Researcher Who Obtained Ph.D. Work On R&D At Pretia?

Computer Vision R&D Engineer Quentin Gautier Interview

Hello everyone, this is the “Medium” team of Pretia Technologies!

For this time, as the seventh coworker interview series, we will interview a Computer Vision R&D Engineer Quentin Gautier!

First of all, we will introduce his profile.

After he obtained a master’s degree in Computer Science in France, he moved to the United States and worked on research at Moores Cancer Center in US San Diego. After that, he obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science in US San Diego. Then, he joined Pretia in 2019.

Quentin, thank you for taking your time today!
To start with, could you tell me your background which led to you joining Pretia?

After I obtained a master’s degree in Computer Science in France, I moved to the United States and worked on software research platform development to improve treatments for cancer patients at the institute in University of California San Diego Campus. I collaborated with researchers from various backgrounds such as physics, medical physics, and mathematics, and I also worked on prototypes of Web applications there.

After that, I worked on hardware acceleration and computer vision at the US San Diego, and I obtained a Ph.D.

Then, I had an offer from Pretia, and after I graduated, I came to Japan and joined here.

So, you worked on diverse research as a researcher!
Even though you had various options, why did you decide to join Pretia?

Pretia is a rare startup which puts effort into computer vision and AR cloud. I was attracted to provide AR experiences for many people through these things.

Moreover, when I decided to join, Pretia released the second game, and I was interested in Pretia which creates these products as a video game lover.

Aha,from these points of view, you chose Pretia!
Quentin, I think your speciality computer vision is more reasonable for fields like self-driving cars though, why did you choose the AR field?

I am originally interested in technologies in general, and I am especially interested in 3D-related fields like VR which combined computer visions and graphics. Among them, AR is easier to experience than VR which has more restrictions such as hardware, and I thought it has potential. Therefore, I decided to challenge it.

Since I like games, I think that having a lot to do with games also influenced decision making.

These backgrounds led you to join Pretia!
Now, you are a member of the R&D team* in Pretia, what do you work on there?

*About R&D team
The department for researching self-position estimation algorithms which become the core of the AR cloud platform “Pretia”.

I mainly work on implementing the latest research and catching up with the environmental changes.

Although computer visions are variously researched in a wide field; AR is currently based on somewhat old research. The latest research is difficult to handle as it is, so we are working on making it able to use it in actual products. Many researches have not been realized to use yet, hence, the AR industry still has potential.

Moreover, the environment that surrounds the AR is fluid. Software which includes algorithms and hardware like the AR glasses are changing everyday. It is our job to catch up with these changing environments and predict the future of them. It is so challenging but I enjoy working on my job.

I see! What is the difference between R&D in a company versus academia?

I think the biggest difference is that while academia barely tends to be biased to theory, R&D in the enterprise must be conscious of actually being used by people. R&D in the enterprise, we have to consider how to provide it and whether it works well to actually be used by people. Not only does it works well in experiments, but also we must pursue stability and reliability that can actually be used as a product. Not only about theory, but also we enjoy R&D that be aware of virtually providing our products.

Aha, I see the differences between them!
When you compare with others, what strengths do you think Pretia’s R&D team have?

The environment that surrounds technology is always fluid, so the company needs an R&D team that can catch up and solve these problems. Pretia is equipped with such a team, and furthermore, I think Pretia has engineers who are well known in complex fields such as computer vision, which is our strength.

In addition, we have members who understand part of the latest theory, so it is our advantage in that it can be useful for our prediction by thinking which latest technology would be practical in the future.

Powerful R&D team has strengths in such a place!
While you work at Pretia’s R&D team, what kind of things do you like?

Firstly, many workers have already been brought up though. I also think it is good that Pretia’s culture includes diversity. Because each coworker has various backgrounds, we can share different points of view and it is helpful to solve problems.

Secondly, our work style is flexible. Pretia adopts flextime and our work style has certain discretion. Therefore, we can search for anything that we cannot do if we are bound by a specific thing, and because of this, I can return it to our job again.

Besides, because many people are curious and they work hard to learn new research, I feel fun to talk with them and I can always catch up on the latest things.

Not only diversity, but also you think there is a good work style and members!
Meanwhile at the R&D team, Quentin, what kind of people would you like to work with?

In the first place, I would like to work with people who are curious, interested in technology, desire to learn new things, and eager to challenge new things.

Here is also a more likely product that finally provides for people rather than pure theory research, so we need people who have responsibility, are strict with oneself, and strive for quality.

Moreover, in working as a team, I would like to work with people who have a flexible and flat way of thinking and can exchange opinions.

We would love for such candidates to come!
Well, in the end, please share your comment for Pretia’s future colleagues!

AR is a truly exciting technology, and R&D is amazing. And it can be tasted in Pretia!

Mr. Quentin, thank you for cooperating with this interview!

Pretia Technologies is looking for people interested in or would like to join us.
If you would like to hear about us since you read this article, please contact us with the following employment information. We are looking forward to hearing back from you!

Pretia Technologies is a Tokyo-based startup focusing on augmented reality technologies and services.