Time Warner leads $27M investment in celebrity hologram company 8i
For the celebrity-obsessed, augmented reality may use the strange chance to get closer than ever to popular culture’s most recognizable stars and performers.For the last numerous years, has actually been welcoming an innovation called volumetric capture which trains a number of electronic cameras on a figure and stitches the feeds together to produce a three-dimensional model that can flawlessly be placed in any environment. 8i’s method has actually been focusing largely on bringing characters into immersive experiences that audiences would otherwise not have access to.The business has mostly been focusing its techniques on headset-based options, but the business is now looking to move on and embrace phone-based enhanced truth systems through the intro of a new application called Holo, which will permit users to put some of 8i’s volumetrically recorded holograms into their own homes.Today, the company is revealing that it has closed a $27 million Series B round of financing led by Time Warner financial investments with participation from Baidu Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Verizon Ventures, One Ventures, Seen & Speed Ventures and a few of the company’s previous investors.This is notably the first outside financial investment in AR/VR coming from Baidu, the Chinese search giant that has actually been increasing directing internal resources to consumer AR/VR. This previous August, the company released its
own AR smartphone platform< a target =_ blank href =https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/03/baidu-announces-dusee-a-mobile-augmented-reality-platform/ > DuSee, and last month Baidu< a target=_ blank href=https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/03/baidu-announces-dusee-a-mobile-augmented-reality-platform/ > opened an AR research lab and began straight incorporating AR tech into its popular suite of apps.8 i’s brand-new app will be launching later this year on Google Tango-compatible devices. Tango tech gives smartphones effective depth-sensing abilities that make the platform suitable for more sophisticated phone-based AR. The genuine restricting factor is the number of devices that currently support Tango. Though there are a few more gadgets on the method, at this point in time, Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro is the only Tango phone on the market.When asked about the possibility of Holo concerning phones without Tango functionality, 8i CEO Steve Raymond told me that Holo would extremely likely be introducing on gadgets with more standard camera setups in the future.Right now, the most restricting element for 8i in terms of growth is the amount of technical heavy-lifting needed to develop a high-end hologram. Most of the business’s high quality stitches originate from studio grade setups that are both large and rather complicated.Even with the intricacy, 8i is still having problem developing smooth digitally rendered figures though their software application has been progressively enhancing. 8i Studios presently boasts more than 100 partners using its capture tech. The business especially isn’t interested in entering into the hardware area, but they are anticipating more mobile volumetric capture gadgets being made available that will permit more simplified footage to be taken and submitted to their expansive network.For now the major focus is on getting AR tech into people’s hands and placing digital holograms into their physical lives.