Ones to Watch

Ones to Watch – Volograms uses technology to blur the lines between the virtual and the real

By Business & Finance
07 February 2020
Pictured: A sample of what Volograms can offer

Each week Business & Finance highlights an up-and-coming start-up that’s making waves in its industry. This week we look at Volograms, whose technology uses volumetric holograms (volograms) to help blur the lines between the virtual and the real.

What is it?

Volograms is an Enterprise Ireland‘s High Potential Startup spin-out from Trinity College Dublin, on a mission to bring reality capture closer to everyone. Augmented and Virtual Reality seem to be the technologies which will change our lives by re-defining the way we interact with digital media and the world around us. However, in order for this to happen, there needs to be more ways to capture real-world content that is suitable for VR & AR, which help blur the lines between virtual and real.

Volograms’ technology enables exactly that; it uses a set of videos taken from different viewpoints and transforms them into volumetric holograms, volograms, that can be enjoyed in AR & VR experiences, apps, social media, smartphones, tablets, and AR and VR headsets.

Volograms’ vision is to enable everybody to create their own content for not only for AR & VR, but also for other platforms, including Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram. This empowers creatives to re-define the way we communicate with brands, enhances virtual experiences at events or museums, and brings immersive storytelling to the next level.

Who’s behind it?

The company was founded by Rafael Pages, Jan Ondrej, and Konstantinos Amplianitis, three post-doctoral researchers that worked together at V-SENSE, a Trinity College Dublin research group working Visual Computing at the intersection of Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, and Media Signal Processing. The founders combine more than 25 years of experience in the fields of Computer Vision, 3D Reconstruction, and Virtual and Augmented Reality, and have worked both in academia and industry, including companies such as Disney and Siemens.

The founders of Volograms

How is it funded?

Volograms is funded thanks to the support of Atlantic Bridge Ventures through the University Bridge Fund and through Enterprise Ireland, who invested in them a total of €850,000. These funds have been used to bring the technology to a commercial level, and to build a strong team. We are making our technology available to creators and other professionals, so we are now looking for investors who can help us achieve our mission.

Future plans?

Volograms’ mission is bringing volumetric video capture closer to everyone, and for that, they need to make the technology available to others. Compared to other companies in this field, they require a low number of cameras to create the volumetric assets – some other studios use more than 100 cameras – which lowers the barriers to entry for professionals. The key challenge for the company for the next year is not doing more projects themselves, but to enable others to do projects using their technology.

The team at Volograms