As an add-on to awarding HoloBuilder with the Theta Developer Contest Grand Prize, Ricoh just presented bitstars with a brand new Theta model S camera!

Many thanks to Ricoh for presenting HoloBuilder with a brand new Theta model S camera

It’s already been a while since bitstars‘ HoloBuilder.com platform was selected as Grand Prize Winner of the Ricoh Theta developer contest. In the same context, Ricoh was now able to excite us again with an unexpected surprise:

The postman just delivered a brand new Theta Model S camera directly to our headquarter’s door, sponsored by Ricoh!

Due to a lucky coincidence our CEO Mostafa Akbari was on site today as well, instead of being in the office in San Francisco. So he was able to use the opportunity and start to unbox the great piece of technology right away. Of course we captured this great moment in proper style in 360 degrees with a Ricoh Theta camera (on PC use Google Chrome for 360° view and make sure to select 1080s resolution):

We are really impressed by the image quality and the numerous improvements that the new device brings along.

The camera will definitely support us essentially at the continuous, further development of HoloBuilder.com and will help us to get more users enthusiastic about great 360-degree content. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Ricoh at this point and are looking forward to a good further cooperation.

HoloBuilder at Pioneer Summit 2015

Pioneer Summit 2015: bitstars is presenting HoloBuilder in good company of Silicon Valley’s leading innovators

In the good company of Silicon Valley’s leading innovators, bitstars is a presenting company at the Pioneer Summit 2015. From Wednesday, October 7 to Friday, October 9, 2015, HoloBuilder is shown at the annual meeting of leading entrepreneurs from venture-backed startups, investors and innovation executives from technology companies.

To „Build Tomorrow Today“ (the gathering’s slogan) they come together in the centre of Silicon Valley at GSVlabs, a campus and community network, aiming to use their resources to accelerate innovative companies in the areas of „EdTech, Sustainability, Big Data, and Mobility“. GSV is short for „Global Silicon Valley„, a collective of businesses focused on media, strategic services and investments that are hosting the event. In general, they want to find what they call „the Stars of Tomorrow“, the most dynamic growth companies in the world, to invest in and partner up with them.

Amid those visionary people and highly innovative companies that are shaping the future of the Silicon Valley as well as of the whole industry, it seems to be the perfect place for bitstars to present HoloBuilder. As a one-of-a-kind web app for easily creating and consuming 360-degree images as well as augmented and virtual reality content, it provides cutting-edge technology to everybody. Being based on WebGL, it requires only a browser, thus creating and experiencing 3D content becomes possible on almost any (mobile) device. HoloBuilder enables many new possibilities and opportunities for professionals from diverse areas as well as all new options for private persons to create and share amazing content quite easily.

This combination of the latest, innovative technology with ease of use contains great potential for high acceptance and thus dynamic growth as well. Therefore, it will be very interesting to see which possibilities, chances, and opportunities will arise from this meeting with other leading innovators and top companies of the Silicon Valley.

4. Aachener Firmenlauf 2015

bitstars at the 4. Aachener Firmenlauf – running for a good cause

One for holo, holo for all! – Team Holo(Builder) starting at the 4. Aachener Firmenlauf

On October 2nd bitstars participated for the first time at the 4. Aachener Firmenlauf (‚Aachen Company Run‘). Six eager runners volunteered to accomplish the 9.26 km run in under 80 minutes. Being fully booked out, a total of 7.000 participants and 462 companies came together for a good cause running a distance of either 4.63 km or even 9.26 km. It was never so easy: doing good for a cause and doing good for yourself with only a few hours of breath taking engagement. Supporting three local charity projects a sum of 15.000€ was donated to the Förderkreis Schwerkranke Kinder E.V. (‚Association for the Promotion of Severely Ill Children‘), the Malaika E.V.-Verein zur Förderung der Lern- und Lebensfreude (‚Association for the Promotion of Enjoyment of Learning and Living‘) and the Evangelische Frauenverein Aachen (‚Evangelical Women’s Association Aachen‘) as a result of a total of 48.615 km run.

 

Six of our dear colleagues took it upon them starting at the 9.26 km run. Our mixed team made it to an awesome 206th place of 317 – presenting a total time of 3 hours 21 minutes and 22 seconds for a distance of 9.26 km. We are proud of our team accomplishing such great things. Showing – even during the run – an extraordinary commitment to provide superior content in HoloBuilder we took some very special 360° snapshots to make everyone feel like a part of it.

We at bitstars are proud to be a part of this amazing happening and are definitely up for the next round in 2016.
Find out more about the Aachener Firmenlauf and the results!

bitstars achieved two great new partnerships – K³ and Virtuallity

bitstars and HoloBuilder.com made two new partners. They are now working together with the German agency and Virtuallity, located in Thessaloniki, Greece. Both partners make a great extension of bitstars and HoloBuilder.com for future business diversification.

, which is short for Kreative Kommunikationskonzepte GmbH, is an agency providing online representation for companies. To make use of the trending technology of augmented and virtual reality they are trying out new presentation possibilities to extend or even replace their current portfolio. Currently their usual methode is placing customer videos on the right platforms enriched with carefully chosen textual information. Offering a variety of new possibilities for online marketing in AR and VR, HoloBuilder makes a perfect match. Being able to experiment with all creative ideas on HoloBuilder.com creates a win-win situation – because for us at bitstars the feedback from K³ is of great value.

The second new partner, Virtuallity, is the first and biggest company in Greece specialized solely in augmented and virtual reality technologies. The team is so excited about the possibilities HoloBuilder.com is providing, that they presented bitstars’ web tool at the virtual reality and gaming fair Digital Universe (September 26th-27th) in Athens. We are really looking forward to working together with Virtuallity, helping us to open up a new door reaching out to the Greek market with plenty of new possibilities.

bitstars, HoloBuilder & Virtuallity at Digital Universe

Virtuallity and HoloBuilder @Digital Universe in Athens, Greece

All in all, both new partners will provide us with a higher market coverage and more popularity for all generated content on HoloBuilder.com. We are really excited to see what we can achieve together.

RICOH Theta Developer Contest 2015 winner holobuilder

bitstars wins RICOH THETA Developer Contest in Tokyo

In Tokyo, the web application holobuilder.com made by German start-up company bitstars just won the worldwide RICOH Theta 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. The web-based application convinced the jury with its innovative possibilities in perfection to enhance 360 degree spherical panorama with 3D objects.

Tokio, Japan/ Aug. 20, 2015. In Tokyo, the German start-up company bitstars just won amazingly the developer contest by the Japanese technology provider RICOH in collaboration with the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory. 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, a web tool that can, among other things, be used for the augmentation of 360 degree panoramic images with 3d elements, the partly in Palo Alto, California, USA and Aachen, Germany located company was able to stand up to strong competition from 15 countries. 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.

copyright foto by http://ascii.jp/elem/000/001/041/1041109/

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari among all other awarded participants of the RICOH Theta Developer Contest (front row, third from the right).  – copyright by ascii

 

„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.

Holobuilder convinced the jury with its ease of use and originality. After importing the 360° photosphere taken with the RICOH Theta 360° panorama camera into holobuilder, the possibility of looking into any direction in the image gives the impression of actually being located directly within the recorded scene. Through further augmentation with various 3D models, texts and symbols, new and innovative ways for impressive experiences in virtual reality open up. From a journey of the most beautiful places of the last private vacation to a professional guided tour through the future apartment, both experiences broaden with exciting virtual 3D models of the desired furniture – creativity is boundless. The resulting „holos“ can be viewed on any mobile device such as tablet or smartphone, android or iOS. For the even more immersive fun, holobuilder can change into a special mode for Virtual Reality headsets like Google Cardboard. Built-in functions for sharing on social networks or integration into an own website round the offer.

copyright foto by http://ascii.jp/elem/000/001/041/1041109/

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari accepting the Grand Prize from RICOH CEO Shiro Kondo. – copyright foto by ascii

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.

Mostafa Akbari with Armin Laschet, Cem Özdemir and Brigitte Zypries

High-level meeting: bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari meets top political decision-makers from Germany

Over the last few weeks some of Germany’s most renowned politicians came to California to get together with the great minds send out from Germany. Mostafa Akbari, CEO of bitstars, who is currently situated in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto/San Francisco, California, USA) to establish a market with the US and Asia, met with them personally to discuss the technology of tomorrow. No matter whether it is the CDU, SPD or Bündnis 90/Die Grünen party, all came to talk about differences in the start-up culture in Germany and the US, the relevance of Industry 4.0 as well as the open-mindedness of the Silicon Valley and Japan towards start-ups.

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari met with Armin Laschet (CDU), currently serving as state MP in the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia as head of his party’s parliamentary group. They discoursed about the major differences of the support for founders in Germany and the US, what Germany can learn from the American founders’ mentality and how the founders’ climate could be improved altogether. Read more about this visit online (German press).

Mostafa Akbari meeting Armin Laschet (CDU).

Furthermore, Mostafa came together with Brigitte Zypries (SPD), current Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy coordinating Germany’s IT, aviation and space policies, to debate about the potential and future of Industry 4.0. Main topics were Googles new project Jaguar, introducing smart textile designs in cooperation with the textile industry, as well as the role of other Silicon Valley pioneers and their impact on mid-tier companies. In the context of Industry 4.0 the importance of German founders was further elaborated.

Mostafa and Brigitte Zypries (SPD) at the German Accelerator.

Last but not least, Mostafa met with Cem Özdemir, co-chairman of the political party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. They discussed the actual technological, economic-political state in the US and Japan. The focus of the conversation was set on the positive attitude of the Silicon Valley as well as the open minded mentality of Japanese companies towards startups around the world.

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari meets with politician Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen).

Those meetings underline the commitment and involvement of German politicians to support German technology as well as ambitioned entrepreneurs abroad.

Panel Talk with bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari at AWE 2015

bitstars enters the world stage: Augmented World Expo 2015

The Augmented World Expo (AWE) is home to over 200 companies with backgrounds in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), wearable technology as well as the ‚Internet of Things‘ (IoT), with bitstars being a part of it in 2015:
CEO Mostafa Akbari and CTO Simon Heinen were among thousands of tech-professionals participating in over 20 workshops, 200 interactive demos and 100 first-class talks from industry leaders and pioneers.

The slogan of the whole event was „Share the superpowers of AR, VR, Wearable Tech and IoT with the World!“ and this is exactly what bitstars did, by giving three interesting talks about the future of AR for enterprises:

  • Simon Heinen elaborated on the topic of the IoT and AR in a talk about ‘The perfect match: Augmented Reality + M2M Communication’.
  • Mostafa Akbari, who has a lot of real-world implementation experience, met consumers and providers alike to discuss the practicalities of ‘How to Expand AR Adoption in Enterprises’ in a moderated panel. The whole discussion is available on YouTube.
  • A spontaneous talk about safety precaution in working environments as well as the potential and advantages of new AR goggles completed the event for us.

In detail the bitstars performance schedule looked like following:

  • Internet Of Things and AR, June 8, 3:15pm – 4:00pm, Room 212
    Simon Heinen (bitstars) – The perfect match: Augmented Reality + M2M Communication; Tom Wesselman (Plantronics) – The IoT: Possibilities, Challenges, and Real World Questions; Brock Kolls (CN2) – Data and Analytics in AR/VR
  • How to expand AR adoption, June 8, 5:00pm – 5:45pm, Theater
    Panel moderated by Alex Hill (CN2) with Juergen Lumeira (Bosch), Paul Davies (Boeing), Fridolin Wild (DDR), Mostafa Akbari (Founder & CEO, bitstars), Joe Metzger (Johnson and Johnson).
    A discussion forum on augmented reality advocating the alliance of enterprises. Main issue is the promotion of the expansion of enterprise AR and the adaption to open and interoperable standards.
  • Spontaneous talk on the topic of Safety and risk factors in Augmented Reality for Enterprises, June 8
    Mostafa Akbari (bitstars) – Device, Human & Environment safety and risk factors

For an exclusive insight take a virtual tour through the expo area or (because networking is important too) join right here at the AWE after party:

To summarize, it was a great event that provided an interesting impression of the current state of the AR and VR business, combined with great opportunities to meet amazing industry experts and a perfect mix of various events and activities. bitstars is looking forward to next year, for which the registration is already open!

Create amazing AR and VR content in HoloBuilder.com

Abandoned Metaio users find a new home: holobuilder.com

Since Apple has acquired Metaio everything you can get from their website is product support via E-Mail or Helpdesk. This might seem to be annoying, but it also offers the great opportunity to make new experiences, probably with even better results in the same domain:

Our free, web-based tool holobuilder.com can become your new home for creative Virtual and Augmented Reality content creations.

HoloBuilder lets you create great 3D content for AR and VR for free.

The holobuilder Editor runs directly in your browser, enabling you to create great 3D content for AR and VR for free.

All you need is a web browser, no download, no installation, no struggles with system incompatibilities:

  • holobuilder lets you create great 3D content for AR and VR for free (as seen in our video)!
  • It is a simple and powerful platform that lets you create 360° presentations from photospheres as well.
  • Build your own virtual reality by interlinking your spheres and adding fantastic 3D models.
  • Share your projects with the World or embed them right into your website.
  • With support for stereoscopic 3D you are enabled to dive deep directly into the new world of VR:
    With the Google Cardboard viewer, the Player App from Google Play or directly from holobuilder.
    It is the simplest way to build your own VR experience.

And just in case you want more or something different, don’t worry:
As a start-up company at bitstars we are flexible enough to realize almost any special requirements, just drop us an E-Mail!

But also with the default version of holobuilder.com you get access to amazing benefits:

  1. Totally free!
    There’s no catch.
  2. Boundless
    Create a virtual reality using your own photospheres and 3D models.
  3. To go
    Use your projects everywhere with HoloPlayer.
  4. Ready to Launch
    Quick results with ready-to-use projects and 3D models.

So stop wasting valuable time being bothered by Apple’s latest buy of Metaio and start creating using holobuilder.com.

Interview mit bitstars Mostafa Akbari

Die eigenen Grenzen erweitern? bitstars auf Erkundung des US Marktes!

Jedes Jahr unterstützt der German Accelerator deutsche Jungunternehmen (Startups) für drei bis sechs Monate bei ihrem US Markteintritt. Dazu werden fliegen die ausgewählten Startups in die USA.

Auch bitstars ist für dieses Jahr mit dabei!

Ab nächster Woche befindet sich unser CEO, Mostafa Akbari im Silicon Valley. Unter dem Hashtag #holoventures berichten wir immer, wenn Zeit ist, von diesem Abenteuer in den verschiedensten Medienkanälen.

Der Holobuilder ist eines der aktuellen Projekte von bitstars, der diese Reise veranschaulichen soll.

Nachfolgend ist der Holoplayer eingebettet. In ihr befindet sich eine 360° Aufnahme aus dem Büro von bitstars. Ihr könnt also einen kleinen Einblick erhalten, obwohl ihr nicht vor Ort seid ;). Mostafa Akbari sitzt auf einem Sofa und gibt ein kleines Interview. Das Interview wurde mit der Kamera aufgenommen und ist in Form von zwei YouTube Videos in der 360° Umgebung verlinkt. Dazu braucht ihr auf die Infoboxen klicken, um die jeweiligen Videos zu starten. (Weiter unten im Blog wurde das Interview verschriftlicht.)

Das Laden der Einbindung kann etwas dauern und ist an Google Chrome und Firefox optimiert.

  1. Frage: Wie kommt es, dass bitstars ins Silicon Valley fliegt?

Wir von bitstars haben uns beim German Accelerator beworben und haben ein Platz im Programm erhalten. So fliege ich für bitstars für mindestens drei Monate in die USA. Dort werde ich im Silicon Valley mich aufhalten.

Ein Monat in Palo Alto und dann zwei Monate im San Francisco.

  1. Was ist der German Accelerator?

Der German Accelerator unterstützt deutsche Startups beim Eintritt in den US Markt. Man kann entweder ins Silicon Valley gehen oder nach New York. Dort nehmen wir nach unserer Ankunft an Workshops und einem Bootcamp, als Vorbereitung die eigenen Ziele im SV zu erreichen, teil. Ebenso erhalten wir einen Mentor an die Seite und oben drauf noch ein Arbeitsplatz in zentraler Lage vor Ort.

Wir sind schon sehr gespannt.

  1. Warum habt ihr euch entschieden ins Silicon Valley zu gehen?

Wir wollen sehen, wie unser Holobuilder.com und andere unsere Services in den USA ankommen. Der Markt ist dort etwas weiter als in Deutschland. Geräte wie Google Glass oder Occulus Rift haben einen höheren Bekanntheitsgrad als hier.

Daneben kommen noch mehre andere VR und AR Geräte aus dem Silicon Valley. Das andere wichtige Thema für uns ist das Investment. Wir wollen dort die Fühler ausstrecken und erkunden welche Möglichkeiten für uns offen stehen. Dadurch dass AR und VR ein Thema im SV ist, verstehen die Investoren auch schneller das Thema.

  1. Was was macht bitstars?

Wir ermöglichen jedermann einfach sich seine eigenen 3D Erlebnis zu kreieren. Es existieren heute schon Portale für 3D Modele oder Panorama 360 Bilder, die in unsere Oberfläche integriert werden können. Diese sind ähnlich zu Flickr oder andere Bild-Datenbanken, man kann mit dem Content nichts anfangen. Wir ermöglichen jedermann über einen Creator seinen eigenen 3D Raum zu gestalten oder einfach eine Reparaturanleitung für eine Maschine zu erstellen. Das ganze ohne Programmieren oder irgendwie Vorkenntnisse mit 3D Programmen zu haben.

Discussion at the CeBIT 2015 about Smart Glasses and Wearables in general.

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari discussing the future of Wearables for Industry 4.0 at the CeBIT 2015

CeBIT 2015 Hannover, 18 March, 11:40 AM – 01:00 PM

bitstars CEO Mostafa Akbari participated  at a discussion round table at the CeBIT 2015 with Thorben Fasching (hmmh multimediahaus AG), Christoph Sauer (nuveon GmbH), Prof. Dr. Carl B. Welker (Director, IIW Institut für Informationswirtschaft) and Prof. Hendrik Speck (Professor of Digital Media at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern/ Department of Computer Sciences/ Interactive Media and head of the Information Architecture/ Search Engine Laboratory). Focus of the discussion was the actual potential wearables bear for the future and who really benefits from their use. Therefore, the benefits of wearables such as Google Glass turning us into „super humans“ as well as the dark side of this featuristic developement considering privacy issues and the social isolation of the users were conversed. Both the usage in our daily private life and the benefits in our professional life were topics of the discussion. In this context Industry 4.0 as well as the reaction of employees to the new technologies were important questions to be examined.

Check out the different opinions and perspectives on wearables and their application. Follow the whole talk in german here: