Tech, Health, and Innovation Funding and Support

Tech + Innovation Funding Alerts

Our 'Tech + Innovation Funding Alerts' is a collection of funds and resources, both nationally and locally, aimed at supporting the development of disruptive technologies towards social good. CrossComm is dedicated to helping innovators create meaningful value, and part of that approach is to share resources and connections that empower our common cause — making a positive impact.

Image of UX Designer drawing wireframes on a whiteboard.

A Guide to User Experience (UX) Audits

A UX Audit, also known as a Usability Audit, looks for ways that your current product succeeds or falls short of being user-centric. They are great tools for identifying ways to improve your digital product’s UX. In this blog, our Lead UI/UX Designer guides you through this important process.

Final render of living room table

The Basics of Working with 3D Models in Unity

Understanding how meshes, textures, materials and shaders work together is a great way to start grasping what is necessary to create realistic 3D objects and surfaces. In the post, CrossComm 3D artist Derek Prinzi breaks down these four components using examples from actual scenes he designed for a client project.

A researcher outlines plans for a research mobile application on a whiteboard

What To Know When Building an App for Research Studies

Building a mobile or web app for a research project can be a daunting task. Knowing how to prepare for app development can save you a lot of time, headaches, and valuable funding. CrossComm's Program Manager Sara Battles breaks down what you need to know when building an app for research.

Shane is super imposed over footage of the game This War of Mine

Reality Recap: Episode 6

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this episode, we discuss how virtual experiences bring the war in Ukraine home, the HTC ViveVerse, Meta's Builder, Bot and more.

Notebook with drawings of app wireframes

What is User Experience (UX)

UX or user experience has been a popular buzzword in marketing for years now. Despite this, the term is still largely misunderstood. In this blog post, Steve Maxson explains what UX is, how it relates to UI Design, and shares many of the misconceptions people have about UX.

Image of Shane discussing Microsoft's acquisition of Blizzard

Reality Recap: Episode 5

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this episode, we discuss Microsoft's acquisition of Activision/Blizzard, Mojo Vision's AR contact lens, and a powerful VR exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

Shane talks in a picture in picture over a display of Niantec's Lightspeed platform

Reality Recap: Episode 4

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this episode, we discuss Niantec's new AR platform, AR in construction, and some exciting FDA approvals for VR therapy.

Yash and Stella sit at a couch and video chat with Sarah

How a Donut Helped Our Team Feel More Connected

CrossComm, like many companies, moved to a remote workforce during the pandemic. We quickly noticed we didn’t feel as connected once we all left our small office. We also grew by nearly 50 percent during this time, and we wanted our new team members to feel as connected as those who had been a part of the team for some time. We decided to start using a Slack app called Donut to help foster connections and boy has it been a sweet treat for our company culture!

Shane discusses Meta's rebrand over a backdrop of the Meta Keynote Video.

Reality Recap: Episode 3

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this episode, we discuss Meta's rebrand and what it means for the industry writ large, Meta's purchase of Within, CREAL's light-field technology, and the use of VR training in major companies.

CrossComm logo over a wood background with gifts

CrossComm's Holiday Techie Gift Guide

'Tis the season for sharing so we gathered up a quick list of some of the CrossComm team's favorite gadgets and services that we think would make great gifts. Happy Holidays!

Shane explains NASA's use of the Microsoft Hololens on the International Space Station over the image of an astronaut using the device.

Reality Recap: Episode 2

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this episode, we discuss using the use of the Microsoft HoloLens on the International Space Station, a new app that lets users interact with the ISS, and the use of AR in training fighter pilots. Finally, we discuss Nreal's latest headset and whether or not it should be marketed as AR.

A simulation of Meta's Quest for Business offering new ways to work from home via virtual desktops and overlays.

How to be Well Versed in the Metaverse

Whether or not you’re familiar with the intricacies of Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality, you’ve likely heard about the social media giant, Facebook, reimagining itself as Meta Platforms. The name harkens to the term “metaverse,” a word first coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book Snow Crash. While there’s still a lot to learn about where Meta and other players like Microsoft and Apple plan to take the metaverse, Stephenson’s vision may not be far off.

CrossComm team in training room

Three Ways CrossComm Builds a Work-Life Balance Culture

While achieving work-life balance is always a work in progress, CrossComm chooses to experiment with how to re-define “the future of work” in order to cultivate an environment where team members learn and gain something meaningful on their path towards career and personal success. Here are three ways CrossComm has approached building a satisfying and enriching work culture.

Thumbs up in front of lap top with new website loaded

Welcome to CrossComm's New Website

CrossComm has launched its brand new website! In this piece, Director of Marketing Phillipe Charles discusses the three main reasons why CrossComm updated its website: to better communicate its culture, mission and services; to give the marketing team greater flexibility, and to better accommodate different forms of content.

Screen Shot From Reality Recap of CrossComm's Shane Smith

Reality Recap: Episode 1

Reality Recap is a video series where Shane Norris provides updates on what's going on in the world of Augmented and Virtual Reality and shares insider insight from experts Don Shin and Yash Bangera. In this first episode, we discuss using the Oculus Quest's passthrough functionality in training scenarios, a creative VR use case for photographers, and using VR to ease patient symptoms. Finally, we discuss an entertaining effect used by our local NFL team—the Carolina Panthers. But is it AR?

Medical researcher examines slide in the lab

The Future of Wearables in Healthcare

Though the development of wearable medical technology is still at its early stages, insights from the August 2021 Federal Wearables Summit suggests that wearables will change the landscape of healthcare. Their potential to untether us from the requirements of a medical visit, by sending personalized health data to providers in real-time, will lead to promising remote monitoring capabilities and early detection of diseases.

Beach scene

Unlimited PTO Diaries: Accidentally Viral

When our own Shane Norris and his CrossFit friend decided to get competitive on some days off, it resulted in an accidentally viral (but hilarious) moment. Unlimited PTO Diaries is a series that allows CrossComm employees to share how they celebrate life, outside of work.

Two people with VR headsets

The State of Reality: Part I, A Brief History of Augmented and Virtual Reality

You might have heard about immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, and everything in between. Now, the vocabulary is expanding to the point that some might shrug it away and say, “What’s the difference?” This post is part of a two-part blog series meant to help you navigate the confusion and provide you with a brief history of AR/VR (Part I), and a glossary of immersive tech terms (Part II).

group of researchers

The Five Tech Partner Must-Haves for Your Research Grant to Succeed

Tech requirements for a grant-funded technology-centric project can be overwhelming for researchers. It is important to identify a set of qualities –– a few must-haves –– to look for in the company you choose to help build your digital innovation. We consider these five qualities to be essential.

Mountain view from Jason's boat

Unlimited PTO Diaries: From Oceans to the Mountains

In this “Unlimited PTO Diaries,” Jason Faber shares describes how he and his family explore the NC outdoors. Unlimited PTO Diaries is a series that allows CrossComm employees to share how they celebrate life, outside of work.

Screenshots from the FocusStem AR app

How Augmented and Virtual Reality Can Bridge the Digital Divide in STEM Education

FocuSStem and CrossComm sought to provide a way for students to engage in immersive learning about STEM, despite wifi limitations or the lack of a headset. The CrossComm team developed a collaborative virtual space where doctors and scientists could present in VR while students could view the presentation through their own cell phones via AR.

Stella and family on roller coaster

Unlimited PTO Diaries: The Happiest Place on Earth

In this “Unlimited PTO Diaries,” Stella Cox shares how her recent trip to Disney World was not only full of "Disney Magic" but also for an appreciation of Disney's tech. Unlimited PTO Diaries is a series that allows CrossComm employees to share how they celebrate life, outside of work.

Healthcare Apps and the FDA

Does My Company’s Healthcare App Need FDA Approval?

Does your app need FDA approval? In this two-part series we are going to answer this question: first by determining what the FDA considers a medical device and secondly by looking at software specifically and how it is regulated by the FDA.

HIPAA Tech Tips

How to Be Hip to HIPAA in Tech

Stella Cox explains what HIPAA is and shares four tips on what to look out for when developing an app meant to create a positive impact for any health population.

Synthetic Data leads to more affordable ML

Synthetic Datasets: A Missing Link to More Affordable Machine Learning?

In the discussion below, Sean Doherty (CrossComm's CTO) and Mike Harris (CrossComm's Senior Immersive Technologies Developer) discuss how synthetic data can help businesses increase the volume of data they have to train ML models and save time, money, and effort, all while decreasing the opportunities for human error.

Image that reads "Building Responsible Cancer Care Apps"

Building Responsible Cancer Care Apps

There are currently hundreds of cancer-related mobile apps available for download in the Apple and Google app stores. But are they all credible? This post discusses the importance of building apps that are built on a theoretical foundation, with adequate testing, or with the involvement of a reputable, multi-disciplinary team.

Man in white coat on laptop

FHIR: An Emerging Trend in Healthcare Data Sharing

FHIR (pronounced “fire”), or “Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources,” is a standard for healthcare data exchange that is quickly gaining relevance in the healthcare industry. In this post, we discuss who is using it, how it works, and why it is useful.

woman working on laptop from kitchen

Making ‘Remote Work’ Work During COVID-19

Because of the COVID-19 virus, companies are faced with tough decisions regarding their ability to realistically embrace remote work. For our clients, partners, and other companies trying to figure out remote work, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the tools that we use that may also help you maintain productivity during this challenging time.

Futuristic image that says Web XR

Why You Should Be Paying Attention to WebXR

WebXR is a technology that allows XR compatibility via web technologies, namely HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In this post, Alicia Hetrick explains the benefits of WebXR and what's next for this budding immersive technology.

medical tablet app illustration

How Mobile Apps Can Assist Cancer Care and Research

The use of mobile apps can offer support in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, which can not only help save lives, but also improve the quality of those lives. Mobile technology can also offset rising costs associated with cancer care.

HandTracking screen shot in Oculus Quest

Hand Tracking in the Oculus Quest is Here

Oculus recently rolled out a software update to its popular Quest VR headset that allows for hand tracking. Our immersive app developers Mike Harris and Yash Bangera gave their first impressions — and some unnecessary hand puns.

AR filter of alien face over woman's face

XR Experiences Are Becoming Easier to Build and Share

After visiting Oculus Connect 6, AR/VR Developer Yash Bangera explains how XR is starting to become easier to create, and more accessible to those who want to build their own experiences.

man typing on laptop

6 Tips To Help Junior Developers Write Better Code

CrossComm Junior Developer, Tucker Blackwell, compiled a list of the most valuable lessons he has learned since he started is journey into programming in 2018. This is his list for writing better code and being a more effective developer.

Outdoors at Oculus Connect 6

The Biggest Announcements from Oculus Connect 6

Last month, we were in-house for both days of Oculus Connect 6, the sixth annual VR conference hosted by Facebook. Some significant updates were announced for the new (and quite popular) Oculus Quest. Facebook also announced plans to expand the social and business use cases of virtual reality. This post dives into the key takeaways.

Man wearing smart watch

Building Android Apps to Control Bluetooth LE Devices

These days, all smartphones support BLE, and the most common consumer devices that use it are wearable health devices like FitBits, heart rate monitors, and so on. This post outlined how to connect to and communicate with BLE devices using an Android phone.

Man holding post-it note with "block chain" written

Blockchain: Beyond the Buzzword

Blockchain has been popping up all over for the past few years, but sometimes the practical use cases can get lost in the hype. Alicia Hetrick breaks down when to use blockchain, and when not to.

Headshot of Sean Doherty

Meet The Team: Sean Doherty

Sean Doherty is CrossComm’s CTO. He joined the team in 2006, directly out of grad school. In my conversation with Sean, we discussed his approach to tech, business, and family.

Beverly working at CrossComm Summit 2019

Meet The Team: Beverly Williams

Beverly Williams is the Business Operations Manager at CrossComm. She’s worked at CrossComm for the past seven years—making her the third-longest employee. When she joined the team, after 17 years as a work-from-home entrepreneur, it brought her back to Downtown Durham—where she first began her career.

Mike on picnic bench with VR headset

Meet The Team: Mike Harris

Mike Harris is CrossComm’s Senior AR/VR Developer. Unlike the rest of the team, he doesn’t work out of our Durham office. He’s based in New Orleans. But that’s hardly a challenge when you consider that some of Mike’s expertise lies in collaborative virtual reality applications.

Anthony Garritano at Summit

Meet the Team: Anthony Garritano

Anthony Garritano is a Senior Software Engineer at CrossComm. He has spent almost a decade in the software industry as an engineer. What motivates him now, even more than the technology itself, is helping others around him to grow.

Outside of WWDC 2019

Top Things For Developers To Know From Apple’s WWDC 2019 Conference

Software Engineer Ben Roaman shares his list of the most important things developers (and people generally involved in making iOS apps) should be aware of in the wake of WWDC 2019, including new products, features, and dev tools.

AWE Stage 2019

Top Takeaways from AWE 2019

After Don Shin and Mike Harris attended the Augmented World Expo (AWE), they shared this discussion about their thoughts, discoveries, and predictions as well as some of the most impressive demonstrations of immersive tech that they saw while there.

Whiteboard from Havana Nights event

A Havana Night in Durham

CrossComm was honored to support the Helius Foundation in its mission to provide mentorship and resources to underrepresented founders. As a company that has been in Durham for over 20 years, CrossComm has witnessed the recent explosion of the local entrepreneurial scene, but also understands that there are communities who traditionally don’t have access to the same opportunities as others.

Don's kids playing at the beach

Why I Returned to Durham

CEO Don Shin reflects on the work and life developments that solidified his decision to move back to Durham, NC.

african veldt

Is Virtual Reality Really a Promising Health Opportunity?

Throughout history, people have dreamed and thought of the possibilities of what a VR future might mean for the world, and in truth, the outlook wasn’t always positive. Still, we at CrossComm are firm in our belief that the asset to humanity aspect of VR is already well on its way to realization. This blog post shares some of the promising opportunities.

CrossComm VR banner and AR display

Enterprise Augmented Reality

Enterprises are gaining a greater awareness of the ROI that AR and VR can return to their organizations. The AR/VR team here at CrossComm is passionate about assisting firms navigate the process of adopting Augmented Reality. We produced an infographic to help overview different immersive tech and current enterprise applications.

CrossComm logo drawn in XR

Playing with Tech: ZED Mini

After the Augmented World Expo, Mike Harris, the lead AR/VR developer at CrossComm, built a multi-user, AR collaborative drawing app with the ZED Mini. He then reached out to Stereolabs (the makers of the ZED mini) by inviting them to meet using the app he built. Chris Orris of Stereolabs shares a bit of what that meeting was like, and the implications for this sort of innovation.

Sean Doherty in front of SXSW 2018 sign

Speaking at South By Southwest

In this blog post, Sean Doherty discusses the excitement of getting invited to speak at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, and documents the process from speech preparation to the moments just before his delivery. His topic of building software development kits (SDKs) was insanely interesting to him, and he was delighted to be able to bring it to the SXSW audience.

thumbs up sign

More Positive Reviews For CrossComm

Recently, we've been featured by Clutch, a ratings and review platform covering top app developers in Raleigh and around the world. Clutch’s work examines thousands of companies based on their market presence, industry experience, and proven ability to deliver excellence and results to their clients. Most importantly, the Clutch team speaks directly with current and past clients to hear first-hand how each firm performs and delivers. We're thankful for these kind words from our clients!

SXSW poster

SXSW... here we come!

Sean Doherty discusses his upcoming trip to SXSW to share CrossComm's expertise on SDKs with demonstration partner/client, Reveal Mobile. Adding to his excitement is the recent news that CrossComm is the #1 ranked mobile app developer in the Southeast on

illustration showing more heads better than one

Why a Team Is Valuable for Your Development Needs

Using Malcolm Gladwell’s “weak link versus strong link” theory, this blog post likens software development to a "weak link" sport like soccer, where teams filled with individuals with complementary skill sets can outpace those that are reliant on one or more superstars. This post breaks down the various skills necessary in quality software development, and explains why a team with multidisciplinary expertise is better suited to meet those challenges than any single developer.

AWS Cloudcraft

Serverless Architecture

For backend projects, Java frameworks and Node.js frameworks have proven reliable, but can also introduce development and upkeep complexities. We've found that a serverless microservice-based architecture is better backend approach for both our developers and our clients.


The Haves and Have-Nots of AI

According to the silicon valley elite, the problems of the world will be solved by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). These companies live with massive data problems, huge data sets and lots of challenges that AI can help with.


How We Planned for 2017

Each year CrossComm hosts two team summit meetings. We strive to enrich the lives of our team every day, but these semi-annual summits allow for a focused effort. We recently had our Winter Summit — here are four highlights.

Screen shots of the Contentful CMS

CrossComm via Contentful

A big part of our new goal for our website is to be more content-focused. In an effort to keep our clients informed and increase our engagement with the development community at large, we've implemented a number of new content-driven pages. We've found value in a CMS called Contentful because its delivery method is a purely data-based API.

CrossComm Mug on desk

Why Are We Blogging?

Like many small businesses, CrossComm has a burning desire to make a dent in the universe while simultaneously facing real world challenges. It can be difficult to take the time for, of all things, a blog! Yet, we are committed to doing so in 2017 in order to share knowledge and grow as a company.

website wireframes

What Kind of MVP Do You Want?

Most MVP’s fall into the following categories: Scale Model, Proof of Concept, Foundation and Iceberg. Knowing which of these you are building is critical to making sure you will be achieving what you expected when you are done. This post gives direction to product owners and developers on what to keep in mind in each type of MVP.