Holus is a display that provides a blend between the digital and real world by converting any digital content into a 3D holographic experience. Since launching on Kickstarter they have recieved huge interest in their product, raising almost 6x thier target funding round. PTN interiews the team:
How did your company get started? What has been the company's journey up to this point?
H+ was founded in 2012 by Dhruv Adhia, Vincent Yang, and Yamin Li after completing their Master's at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, BC. Together, they worked out of a garage to create and test their very first holographic platform. Since then, the platform underwent a host of iterations, before it became known as the current product, "Holus." After three years, the company has grown from 3 individuals to a group of 20 dedicated, eager, and passionate people with unique backgrounds.
Do you have a lot of competition in this area of technology?
Competition is increasing with other releases such as Hololens from Microsoft. Moreover, more people are realizing the need for new information medium and several companies and research labs are aware of the problems we face with current technologies. As a result we will see more competition in the space of holographic reality in upcoming years.
What do you see as some of the main use cases for Holus (how do you imagine it being used)? What kind of customers are you targeting?
Holus is ideal for games, in fact our purpose is to take gaming to next level. Many different kinds of games such as digitized board games, multiplayer games, collaborative and combative games are all ideal for Holus. Educational related games are also something that parents would like for their kids, as they can all participate naturally around Holus.
Our target audience consist of both developers and families. We plan to have developers community that can create innovative Holus applications for Families and larger market. There by our vision is to foster this new community of holographic era.
How would people develop for Holus? Will there be an app store?
Every backer on kickstarter who has backed Holus Pro edition gets a free license of our SDK. Through this SDK they will be able to transform any game or application into Holus compatible application. Moreover, through our unique middleware solution any input device can be connected for e.g., brain control and gesture control related sensors as we have shown on our kickstarter page. Once the Holus applications are developed, users can download it on apple store or google play store. Or simply run it on Mac or windows because SDK is cross platform.
We will also have our forums and download sections where we will highlight interesting applications. We also have a plan to develop our own app store where Holus applications will be available in future.
Where do you see the Holus project in 10 years? How do you see this technology evolving?
Currently we rely on Optics and Software to create a holographic that is safe, cost effective, energy efficient and can project millions of colors and pixels. In future we plan to achieve the same results in the mid-air. And we are working with scientists at UBC here in Vancouver for the same future. This is how we see this field 10 years from now.
Could the technology be scaled up for large attractions or adverts (say in an airport)?
Yes, we have another set of clients for whom we develop what we all Magic Room. Those are customized HoloDeck like experience where Holus is 2-5 times bigger than the size offered on kickstarter. The Holus on kickstarter is meant for homes.
Are you surprised with how successful your Kickstarter has become already? Can you share insight into how you ran your Kickstarter?
It is satisfactory to see such results, we have been preparing for this campaign for nearly over 8 months now. From positioning of our statements to each and every graphic being shown. We dedicated much more time creating relevant use cases such as Magic Room. We wanted to go out there with complete package, therefore we spent a lot of time questioning, why would people need this in their homes or offices? We spent understanding the philosophical aspects of this technology. Also how can it really impact humans lives apart from bringing good experience with digital content?
A lot of preparation went into answering these questions apart from building Holus. Apart from this, we got really good response from the team at Kickstarter. We also spent a time creating marketing and campaign plan, deciding on what exactly needs to happen on each day and how we will engage with our community. Content creation was a big part of our running our campaign, to update our backers with new possibilities and build the community out of this campaign is also our major goal.
Lastly, we are truly humbled by the response we have got and continue to refine our technology moving forward from the feedback we have got so far.
Can you think of anything else that you would like to tell us or announce?
Yes, I would like to mention a bit about our vision. Our vision and mission is to Humanize Technology. That is to design and develop human adaptive systems that are natural and intuitive to interact with. We also have a term for this, we call it Social and digital campfire experience around which people are connected. This is the purpose of Holus. For us its even more important to think about social computing apart from holographic computing.
Other problems we target to overcome through this technology are Isolation and stagnation. I would request you to watch the video on challenges we face with current technologies. And Holus aims to overcome those.
Let me also share another beautiful story. Its an outcome out of Magic Room system. As you would know from watching the video, the purpose of Magic Room is to bring Magical and Healing experience to sick kids at Ronald McDonald House here in Vancouver, BC. It uses the same technology we used in Holus. Just bigger in size.
Recently we heard from our clients about a 4 year old girl called Maisie. She has a virus called EnteroVirus D86 and childrens cannot walk due to the disease. Also doctors cannot explain why. Maisie would visit Magic Room everyday for 1 hour with her mother. She did this for 1 month straight. After around a month, her mother shockingly found Maisie finding her balance, and started taking her steps in Magic Room.
This is our vision of Humanizing Technology were we empower human beings through the means of technology. These are the positive psychological benefits of representing information in a holographic manner.
To find out more about Holus and all the detail how it works follow the links below
Holus Labs: Episode 1 - History and Evolution of Holus since late 2012 in terms of form factor