@HoloBuilder office

Girlsday @bitstars Office

On 28 January, we opened the doors of our Headquarter for 6 enthusiastic girls who were motivated to create awesome Virtual Reality content with Holobuilder.

The goal was to create a 360° Tour through Aachen. So we started with a short introduction to “What’s Virtual Reality? What’s Augmented Reality?”.

Then we explained, how a 360° camera works and the girls took their first 360° Photos with a Theta S.

We started our Tour at our office and walked to the city center to get some 360° Photos from the town hall and the cathedral.

Back in our office, the girls started to compose a tour with Holobuilder.

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It was great to see how fast the girls were able to create a 360° city tour and how much fun they had to give their creativity free rein.

More and more frequently, we were contacted by educators, who tells us about their experience with HoloBuilder in school. The feedback is consistently positive and we often heard, that HoloBuilder.com is used for making Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality touchable, but we never gained this experience by ourselves.

It was an awesome day, sharing our office with such creative and motivated girls.

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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.

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.

INFORMATIK 2015: Enabling Industry 4.0 with HoloBuilder

On Tuesday, Maximilian Speicher of bitstars presented the very first research paper about HoloBuilder.com—named „Enabling Industry 4.0 with HoloBuilder“—at the 2015 INFORMATIK conference. The name of the session during which it was presented was „Industry 4.0: Computer Science Forms New Production Systems“. The session was hosted by Prof. Dr. Rolf Kraemer of IHP and featured a selection of renowned experts for Industry 4.0—including Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Liggesmeyer of TU Kaiserslautern, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Jasperneite of OWL University and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Wollert of Aachen University of Applied Sciences, among others. The presenters set a particular focus on topics such as Internet of Things, Smart Factories, wireless communication and OPC UA, with which our presentation about HoloBuilder and Augmented Reality fitted in seamlessly. The feedback we received was consistently positive.

Our research paper describes the design decisions behind HoloBuilder as a tool for end-user creation and consumption of arbitrary Augmented Reality content in the context of Industry 4.0. In this respect, the phrase „end users“ particularly refers to mechancis, engineers and maintenance staff working in a Smart Factory. The design decisions are evaluated against six design principles for Industry 4.0, of which all are fulfilled by our platform. Moreover, the Industry 4.0 capabilities of HoloBuilder are demonstrated in two case studies: an interactive Augmented Reality instruction manual and real-time communication through OPC UA. Yet, it has to be noted that HoloBuilder is a general platform also intended for average users and the creation of arbitrary Virtual Reality, 360° and 3D content. Our research paper is available via ResearchGate.

INFORMATIK is the biggest IT conference in Germany. It is held annualy by the German Informatics Society (GI). The next edition will be held in Klagenfurt (Austria) in 2016.

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.