Holo with ARKit is here, bringing volumetric human holograms to the masses on the iPhone

Millions can now access and experience truly volumetric video of real people in Augmented Reality on iOS 11

Since our initial launch of Holo in June, people have placed more than three million holograms of real people and animals in nearly every country around the globe. This milestone demonstrated what we’ve always believed at 8i and the foundation our technology was built on, that throughout history, people have always loved to watch and engage with authentic human content.

The arrival of iOS 11 and ARKit on the iPhone marks the first time millions of people can experience true volumetric video on a mass-market consumer device, and our team couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce Holo with ARKit, the first AR app that lets you place 3D holograms of real people and animals in your world, move around and interact with them as if truly there in real life, and create videos and photos to share with friends.

Introducing Holo with ARKit, letting you move around real people in AR as if they’re really there

We first came up with the idea for Holo when we partnered with Google to build an app for the launch of Tango more than a year ago. As we played with very early versions of the app, it became clear that mobile AR was going to be a near term opportunity for 8i’s volumetric video technology and for the distribution of our holograms to the masses on their smartphone. It was evident that consumers were creating, augmenting and sharing content on a massive scale on their smartphones; and Holo tapped into that trend by putting personalities they love in their pocket to unlock an entirely new way to create content with both real and virtual human performances in AR.

Behind the Scenes: Volumetric Capture of pro soccer player Jerome Boateng at 8i studios

Putting personalities you love in your pocket

With the launch of Holo with ARKit, we’re excited to release new holograms collections exclusively on the iPhone featuring beloved musicians, athletes, influencers and entertainers, including: R&B artist Jhené Aiko, World Cup-winning defender Jerome Boateng, Glee star and dancer Harry Shum Jr., dancer Chachi Gonzales, influencer Tristan Tales, as well as new animals (fox, alpaca, porcupine and more). Holo also features celebrated astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Emmy-winning actor Jon Hamm, Spider-Man, professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston, pop duo Superfruit, among others.

A new way to engage audiences in AR

On the heels of our successful collaboration with Sony Pictures around the theatrical release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which let fans create their own ‘mini AR movies’ with the iconic hero, we partnered with several other media and entertainment companies to engage audiences in a new way with AR. Most recently we teamed up with Viacom Velocity for the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards to release a Moon Person hologram collection, marking the first time ever Holo was used to promote a landmark televised tentpole event, and the results were pretty entertaining…

‘Best of’ Holos with MTV VMAs Moon Person hologram

With ARKit (and soon ARCore) ushering what could be the most engaging experiences on your smartphone, we’re excited see how brands and personalities continue to leverage volumetric media to connect with fans.

Enabling a broad range of AR apps with volumetric human content

At 8i, we are building the full technology stack for enabling real human content and communication for the immersive computing era — providing a scalable end-to-end solution for capture, creation, compression and distribution of human holograms on any device or platform across AR, VR and MR. Holo is the first app built using 8i’s proprietary volumetric video technology, which was another important reason for building the app. Holo gave our team an opportunity to be the first developer to use our tech, as we’re working to build the best tools to enable the AR app development community to enable the easy integration of human holograms into their apps. If you’re interested in developing applications with real human content, please get in touch at hi@8i.com.

With ARKit, Apple has ignited a groundswell of enthusiasm from developers reminiscent of the initial introduction of the iPhone, and we can’t wait to see the broad range of immersive human experiences they will build that will impact our lives and work in ways we haven’t yet imagined.