Swiss startup Imverse has raised $4.8m to develop its volumetric pixel (voxel) software platform for real time 3D graphics and live holograms to simplify the development of the metaverse.
The technology, spun out of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at EPFL in Lausanne, uses a proprietary voxel graphics engine which is capable of live capture, rendering and streaming of multiple holograms in real-time for telepresence applications and virtual reality (VR).
The Imverse technology can create full-body volumetric humans at the fraction of the cost of today’s polygon-based systems, without industrial cameras, or powerful computing equipment, and with low latency. This enables the delivery of volumetric content at the same rate as mainstream video conferencing technology such as Zoom or Teams.
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The company is blending its voxel technology with existing polygonal standard and has created a plugin to the Unity 3D game engine. It is currently working on a similar interface with Epic’s Unreal engine, connecting the voxel engine with the two leading 3D content creation applications.
The Imverse Holo tool enables creators and businesses to set up multi-camera systems for live volumetric video capture with no need for green screens or cloud services. It is currently compatible with between one and ten Microsoft Azure Kinect cameras connected to a single PC, enabling both real-time and recorded holograms.
In the past year, Imverse has secured a number of partnerships with some of the world’s largest technology companies and expanded its operations to France. The current investment round was led by peripheral hardware maker Logitech and brings the total raised so far to $6.3m.
“We are impressed by the progress made since Imverse first set out to build this technology that enables real-time capture of volumetric pixels,” said Pearly Chen, Vice President at HTC VIVE, which makes VR headsets. “We look forward to working with the company to explore meaningful use cases that enhance human experience through 3D representation of users in virtual meetings, live performances, mixed reality content creation and beyond.”
“For the Metaverse to become a reality we need to overcome a lot of technical hurdles. One of the biggest challenges is making producing 3D content affordable and accessible to everyday consumers and businesses. This is why we believe our voxel breakthrough is so significant. It opens the door to a huge range of new applications, including, for the first time, multiple holograms streaming in real-time. All people need is a few Kinect cameras and a PC and our technology does the rest,” said Javier Bello Ruiz, co-founder and CEO of Imverse.
“With this funding we’ll be able to significantly ramp up the roll out and expansion of our software platform and our partnership network.”
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