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Arcturus raises $5M for holographic imaging in games and entertainment

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Arcturus today announced it has raised $5 million in funding for tools that enable developers to create realistic holographic characters based on scanned images.

Bitkraft Ventures led the round, with participation from leaders in the sports, telecom, gaming, and music space. Backers include HBSE Ventures, NTT Docomo Ventures, Build Ventures, Riot Games cofounder Marc Merrill, and Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman.

Arcturus‘ funding will go toward hiring more developers, expanding sales, and adding to the product line, with an emphasis on livestreaming features. The aim is to become the global software leader in the post-production and streaming of volumetric videos.

The company was founded by a management team with product, art, and science backgrounds from Netflix, Autodesk, Pixar, Dreamworks, Google, YouTube, and Uber.

Immersive content

Above: HoloEdit makes it easy to animate 3D humans.

Image Credit: Arcturus

Arcturus is targeting its immersive content experience across a range of verticals, including ecommerce, music, sports, interactive media, and gaming.

Volumetric video lets users consume live-action content in new ways, from viewing sports in holographic form to experiencing photorealistic virtual performances and engaging with interactive digital human assistants and more immersive forms of social media and ecommerce, in which buyers can view and interact with products in 3D.

With volumetric video, content is captured by an array of cameras and depth sensors that surround a subject to create a photorealistic model. These holograms are fully 3D and interactive, making them a fit for any spatial experience, such as in augmented or virtual reality.

On offer

Arcturus’ flagship product is HoloSuite, a service platform for editing and distributing volumetric video, which consists of HoloEdit and HoloStream. The HoloSuite platform enables users to author, edit, and stream volumetrically captured performers and environments, and users can interact with it on any desktop browser or smart mobile devices.

HoloEdit is an optimized pipeline for editing and processing volumetric video. It enables content creators and game studios to easily edit and compress clips and then distribute them to third-party tools, including real-time game engines like Unity, Unreal, and more. HoloStream is an adaptive streaming solution extending the technology streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Video use to stream volumetric video directly to the viewer.

Arcturus CEO Kamal Mistry said in a statement that the company aims to create a future in which digital human holograms are captured from reality and customized and can then interact with a viewer in real time. This can take the form of digital customer service agents, human avatars, virtual 3D concerts and fashion runways, and access to a professional athlete’s perspective in broadcast sports.

Arcturus worked with Docomo for the Docomo Open House in 2021, which featured HoloSuite. Arcturus has supported numerous brand and celebrity activations, including Verizon’s fan experience at Super Bowl LIV and Samsung’s 2020 phone release featuring popular Korean boy band BTS.

The company has 21 employees.

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