Anybody out there old enough to remember MacGyver, the 80s/90s DIY action hero that could free himself from any hopeless situation only with the help of a shoelace, a cucumber and a lighter? Good old times. Now imagine a location-based virtual reality escape room in which YOU are MacGyver. Sounds cool? It is (or rather will be soon). This is just one example of what Geneva and LA-based voxel graphics company Imverse is currently working on.
Enjoy this interview mit Javier Bello Ruiz, the company’s founder and CEO.
#1 Javier, please introduce Imverse in less than 10 words.
The volumetric future of entertainment: real-time holograms & voxels.
#2 What was the initial impetus or motivation to start Imverse and what is your vision with it?
Robin, CTO & co-founder, and I were working together at the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at EPFL creating XR technology for neuroscience of embodiment research. It became very apparent very quickly that people from the entertainment industry were really interested in what we were doing and we started to collaborate with some of them in artistic projects. We realized that we wanted to build something bigger with this technology and we imagined a vision to revolutionize how 3D graphics are created today.
Combining the learnings from neuroscience with the volumetric expertise, we could demonstrate how voxels can solve problems like integrating your body as a real-time hologram in VR. From there we could target markets like the fast growing Location Based Entertainment providing an alternative to motion capture for multiplayer experiences. This new form of entertainment in between games and movies, in which you become the protagonist with your own hologram, is the first step to telepresence, movie virtual production, and will allow us to build the tools for democratizing content creation by building a complete game engine that will set a new standard for 3D graphics.
#3 What company-related recent accomplishment are you most proud of?
We successfully opened a subsidiary in the US, with offices in Los Angeles to be closer to the entertainment market. Most of the companies creating content for VR are here, and Silicon Beach is growing fast, especially with tech companies that are building products for entertainment. It seemed like the right place for us to enter the US market, and it’s already paying off.
#4 Five years from now, what will Imverse look like? What will you be doing yourself?
We believe our technology will be integrated in very innovative VR attractions in multiple locations around the world such as VR arcades and theme parks. Our products will be used as well for telecommunication solutions, connecting different locations across the globe, enabling collaboration, social gaming, telepresence and much more. Our company will be well on its way to address the global 3D graphics market.
I will be making sure that we stay on course to fulfill our vision, addressing new opportunities and markets as they mature, with a very strong team passionate about what we do.
#5 Name three adjectives that describe the working culture at Imverse.
Friendly, engaging, transparent.
By the way, we are currently looking for world-class engineers in the fields of 3D graphics, volumetric capture, computer vision, streaming and compression.
#6 Name a detail that nobody really talks about but that is nonetheless crucial for the success of a company.
We are always learning new ones, but I imagine many will agree with these: focus on the 2–3 most important aspects that will have more impact on your business, spend the rest of the time building a great internal communication. Build a great network, even if you have to say no to projects/events/meetings more often than not, it will pay off in the long term.
#7 Which technological solution are we still missing in our lives?
We do believe that like the Internet or smartphones, XR has a huge potential to impact the way that we have fun, communicate and collaborate together. We don’t believe it’s isolating, on the contrary, it will allow you to engage and interact with people in ways you never imagined: building an even more social and connected world full of creativity.
#8 What other than Imverse is worth spending time on?
Everything that involves creativity and learning. I have always been attracted to creating things, whether that means building technology, neuroscience research, or drawing, painting, writing, etc. I enjoy that very much as it has a big discovery component to it. Otherwise, I also like standup comedy, especially those comedians with great comebacks and improvisation skills that involve the audience into the performance. I follow some Spanish ones too, which keeps me connected to the culture I grew up with. The Imverse team is united as well not only by our professional passion, but also with various personal interests: improv theater, video games, food, films, and we all enjoy adventures.
#9 Why did you choose Creathor as an investor?
Creathor’s motto is “Backing the Creators of our Future”, and we can really acknowledge that Creathor has been a great supporter of our company beyond the financial investment. We share the same mindset to build frontier technology for the future, and they can be proud as they stay true to their words: “Putting our expertise and experience to work for your success”.
#10 Make it 10! There must be something that you have always wanted to ask us. What is it?
Javier: What are the traits that you consistently find among founders of successful startups you have invested in?
Cédric: Good question! I would say it’s a combination of the following:
- Openness for advice
Thank you, Javier!
If you would like to learn more about our other investments and our current investment focus, please visit www.creathor.com and get in touch if you think we could be a match.