The remaining funds come from two grant awards, together worth almost £500,000, as well as smaller commitments from RLC Ventures and angel investors. The investment will see Condense Reality increase its R&D capabilities and commercialise its technology over the next 12 months.
Condense Reality has developed a system for streaming hologram-style 3D “volumetric video” of live events alongside a normal television broadcast, with the potential to bring entertainment and sport to life on the tabletop to complement the on-screen action. BT Sport is the startup’s first customer, following a collaboration between Condense Reality, BT Sport, and the University of Bristol on the broadcaster’s 5G Edge XR trial to demonstrate the potential of 5G to deliver more immersive live sport viewing experiences through augmented and virtual reality. Condense Reality will initially focus on optimising its technology for boxing, with other sports to follow.
Until now, capturing volumetric video – which creates a three-dimensional image that can be viewed by multiple people from different angles – required fixed studios with green screens and hundreds of precisely-calibrated cameras, and it took days to process minutes of content for streaming. Condense Reality has developed a next-generation solution that enables broadcasters and content creators to capture and stream volumetric video in real time, outside the confines of a studio, and with far fewer cameras.
Condense Reality’s modular approach combines proprietary software with off-the-shelf hardware. Its CR Capture platform uses state-of-the-art computer vision and deep learning to accurately reconstruct the contents of a scene in seconds, while CR Stream enables broadcasters to stream that content to viewers via their own augmented or virtual reality headsets – including Oculus, Vive, Microsoft Hololens, and Magic Leap. The multi-platform CR Playback app gives viewers control of their experience through an intuitive 3D UI.