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Growth NZ Tech: Move Over Zoom, realityvirtual.co To Deliver Immersive Video Conferencing

New Zealand startup realityvirtual.co has just been awarded funding from American video game producer and software giant Epic Games, creators of the popular video game, Fortnite. The grant is one of several from Epic’s whopping NZD$164 million (USD$100 million) “Mega-grant” fund to support people doing amazing things with Unreal Engine.

Project deepMirror: In the age of COVID-19, realityvirtual.co is repackaging and rapidly deploying their experience in deep learning and volumetric video technologies into what can only be described as an extremely immersive one-on-one video conferencing protocol. 

“The experience is akin to speaking between a sheet of glass; you're in their 3D space and they are in yours — you share not only eye contact, but light itself. We feel this is a gift that must be actioned immediately!” states realityvirtual founder, Mr Che de Boer.

deepMirror utilizes extensive real-time deep-learning image-processing techniques to extrapolate high-resolution 3D information and lighting from a single webcam. These layers of reality then able to be manipulated dynamically in real-time. In addition, an accurate 3D depth-map is used in combination with eye-tracking / pose estimation to create parallax similar to 3D photos commonly shared on Facebook. 

These techniques combined create a truly uncanny “being there” sensation, a shared personal bubble for both parties. Nothing more than a webcam and consumer-level PC is required. An early beta release of the technology is targeted for July to August 2020, while mobile development via Amazon Web Services Cloud Compute is also in the pipeline.

realityvirtual.co is known for their immersive virtual reality experiences captured from around the world, such as the Queen Nefertari & King Tutankhamun's Tombs in Egypt, which won the prestigious Lumiere Award for best VR Educational Experience in early 2020.

Founder and CEO Simon Che de Boer—the eccentric man at the helm—is an internationally renowned photogrammetrist and virtual reality content creator. He has received acclaim for the immersive quality of his photo-realistic virtual experiences from Forbes, TechCrunch and other reputed publications. Many notable players of the Visual Effects (VFX) industry reference realityvirtual’s projects to demonstrate the potential of this new immersive medium.

The technology from realityvirtual.co relies heavily on machine learning and the latest in mixed reality technologies. They are working closely with Epic Games, Amazon Web Services, NVIDIA, and other parties, to make these exciting new technologies available to all.

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