Bitstars Won Tokyo’s RICOH THETA Developer Contest W/ Holobuilder
In Tokyo, the web application holobuilder.com made by German start-up company bitstars just won the worldwide developer contest held by Japanese technology provider RICOH. holobuilder could push through the fierce competition of 72 participants and 173 submitted projects from all over the world.
Bitstars is a German high-tech start-up company focusing on Augmented and Virtual Reality applications. Founded in 2012, the company evolved into a leading provider of Augmented Reality technology for mobile devices.
The award-winning web platform holobuilder.com for creating immersive Virtual Reality content with 3D elements completes the portfolio of cutting-edge technology.
The web-based application convinced the jury with its innovative possibilities in perfection to enhance 360 degree spherical panorama with 3D objects.
Bitstars & Holobuilder Takes Home The Champion RICOH THETA Developer Contest @ Tokyo
In Tokyo, the German start-up company bitstars just won the developer contest by the Japanese technology provider RICOH in collaboration with the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory. Every interested company from around the world was free to submit their applications or gadgets.
The requirement for participation was the usage of the RICOH THETA, a special camera for 360° panoramic photos, to make more convenient or provide new methods of application.
With holobuilder, the partly in Palo Alto, California, USA and Aachen, Germany located company was able to stand up to strong competition from 15 countries. holobuilder is a web tool that can, among other things, be used for the augmentation of 360 degree panoramic images with 3d elements.
Inter alia the submissions came from the strongholds of technology start-ups, such as Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv or of course Japan itself. holobuilder could push through the fierce competition of 72 participants and 173 submitted projects from all over the world.
“holobuilder received the Grand Prize for its implementation using open components, the degree of perfection and practicality as well” said jury member Ken Sakamura, Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo.
The guiding theme of the whole competition was “innovation” and the prizes were awarded on the basis of the evaluation criteria of creativity (originality), future outlook (potential, extensibility) and benefit (practicality).
“holobuilder adds stamps and comments to RICOH THETA photos. Such a function is common for 2D photos. But the vision of incorporating the function for spherical image handling, moreover the feeling of affixing stereoscopic stamp in space is innovative. I feel the potential in this direction” as Sakamura stated further.
The images recorded with the RICOH THETA model m15 alone are an innovative new phenomenon that is growing in popularity. For each photo, the spherical camera captures a range of 180 degrees with its so-called “fish-eye lenses” on each side of the housing.
Those are then assembled immediately inside the device, so that an all-encompassing 360° image, called “photo sphere”, is generated.
This automated process is the unique selling point of the camera, as the capturing and assembling of various images into a spherical panorama usually is a very complex and time-consuming task. But with the RICOH THETA camera it is created in seconds, fully automatic with the push of a button.
Imported into holobuilder, subsequently the possibility of looking into any direction in the image gives the impression of actually being located directly within the recorded scene. Further extended with various 3D models, texts and symbols, new and innovative ways for impressive experiences in virtual reality open up.
From a tour of the most beautiful places of the last private vacation to a professional tour through the future apartment, which was equipped with virtual 3D models of the desired furniture, creativity is boundless.
Holobuilder Web Browser Compatibility
The creation is done with holobuilder.com directly in the web browser, without the need to install any additional programs. Afterwards the results, which the inventors named “holos”, can be viewed on any device.
Also on a tablet or a smartphone, if desired even with a corresponding mode in a Virtual Reality headset like Google Cardboard. Built-in functions for sharing on social networks or integration into an own website round the offer.
For this concept holobuilder was awarded the “Grand Prize” and in a celebratory ceremony at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo) RICOH CEO Shiro Kondo himself handed over the prize to bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari. He was rewarded with a cash prize of 1,000,000 yen (about 7,500 euros) and an additional trophy. Congratulations Bitstars & Holobuilder Team!