Tech company Big on Mars to expand in Salt Lake City

Published: Monday, April 14 2014 10:35 a.m. MDT

Director of technology Matt Weight, and Managing Director Jim McArthur, of a development company Big on Mars demonstrates new gadgets they are working on including virtual reality goggles and software Friday, April 11, 2014.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A local technology firm is looking to increase its presence in Utah.

New Salt Lake City-based mobile technology and connectivity company BIG on MARS announced that will hire 50 to 75 people over the next 18 months for its downtown operation.

BIG on MARS is a specialized mobile connectivity communications unit that spun off from San Diego-based digital marketing, technology and data firm Digitaria. BIG on MARS works to plan, create and manage applications for the “connected life,” explained technology manager Matt Weight.

Among the easiest ways to describe what the company does would be a mobile app development company, he said. But the company was created to evolve alongside the rapidly expanding opportunities for the “Internet of Things,” he said.

Online magazine Digital Trends defined Internet of Things as devices that can sense aspects of the real world — such as temperature, lighting, the presence or absence of people or objects — and report that real-world data, or act on it. Instead of most data on the Internet being produced and consumed by people, such as text, audio or video, more information would be produced and consumed by machines communicating between themselves with the aim to improve the quality of everyday life for users.

For BIG on MARS, developing the software and apps that will connect the world will require the creativity and ingenuity of the next generation of great minds with a passion for being on the cutting edge of innovation, said managing director Jim McArthur.

“We want to be known as the virtual reality and connected device experts,” he said. The company is looking for young people with experience in creating solutions for mobility in gaming, social and web applications.

“We call them “digital natives” — people who, when you say (virtual reality headset) Oculus Rift, don’t say, 'What?,'” he explained. “Even if they have never put one on, they understand the concept.”

McArthur said many recent or prospective college graduates fit that profile of people who have grown up in the technology environment their entire lives.

“They understand the kind of problems we’re trying to solve,” he said.

While most of the new positions will be entry-level, the company will also need some more experienced people as well. He said the company hopes to build a fun-loving, innovative spirit that allows employees to display their creativity at the highest levels while providing new technologies that will move this current tech generation forward.

BIG on MARS recently won a yearlong project with GoPro on the heels of another smaller engagement with real-time health technologists MD Revolution. The company also has retainer relationships and ongoing project work with Qualcomm and Ford Motor Co., in addition to being involved in ongoing discussions with HBO and several other automotive companies.

The firm projects $7 million to $10 million in business revenue by the end of 2014.

McArthur said finding people with “inherent passion” would put the company on the path to being a leading innovator in the mobile technology industry.

“Our mission is to create (avenues) that allow access to information when it’s (needed),” he said. “The joy we derive will be those 'aha moments' that create goosebumps for users.”

Email: jlee@deseretnews.com

Twitter: JasenLee1

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