Hologram Raises $ 6.5 Million For Blockchain-Based Avatars You Can Use In Video Calls

Interested to know what’s next for the gaming industry? Join game executives to discuss emerging industry trends in October at the GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.


Hologram, an all-in-one platform for virtual creatures, today announced that it has raised $ 6.5 million in seed funding for avatars that you can use in video calls.

The purpose is to allow avatars to move between apps, as you would expect in Metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, just like novels like. Snowfall and Loan player usa.

Advertising

The San Francisco company allows you to use images or non-fungible characters (NFT) as avatars, and you can use avatars to represent yourself as a character that has been lip-synced to a call Zoom or Google Meet. I did an interview with CEO Tong Pow, and he used his avatar all the time. So I don’t know if he really is or not. Pow calls this “pseudonymous economics”. It gives some use to Bored Apes and other NFT images that are now criticized by many people as a bunch of hype.

Polychain Capital led the phase, with participation from Nascent, Inflection, The Operating Group, Quantstamp, Neon DAO, Foothill Ventures and South Park Commons.

Other angel investors include Mike Shinoda (co-founder of Linkin Park and advisor to Warner Records), Kalos (founder of Parallel NFT), Richard Ma (founder of Quantstamp) and Naveen Jain (founder of Yat Labs).

The company (dba Hologram Labs) will use the money to expand the team with multiple key recruits and increase its ability to support the growing influx of partnership requests.

Tong Pow’s avatar.

Hologram is building technology to give people multiple ways to express themselves and interact with the pseudonymous economy, Pow said.

Taking advantage of the latest advances in machine learning, 3D, and Web3, Hologram empowers any online community to create, own, and engage immersive virtual people, objects, and experiences of size. Users can connect with others, create content, and grow their brands on any video or gaming platform, such as Zoom, Twitch, VR chat, and hundreds more as digital characters online. just one click.

Following a successful community launch of the Anata NFT in April, Hologram has already integrated its technology with 10 NFT communities, including popular projects such as Cool Cats, Deadfellaz, and Crypto Covens. This strategic cycle will allow Hologram to expand its offerings to many more creators and online communities in the coming months.

“Hologram delivers exactly what we promise our community – magic,” the Crypto Covens team said in a statement. “Part of the appeal of NFT profile photos is to have an identity that you find beautiful, unique, powerful and WITCH holograms that are more than we thought. They are the perfect channel. for community building, role -playing, and immersive magic.

desktop hologram
Hologram allows you to use NFTs as avatars.

“A lot of the magic of web3 comes from the practice of identity experimentation that was so common in the early days of the Internet and combined it with the technologies we’ve developed over the past few years!” Xuannu, the founder of Crypto Covens, said in a statement. “The hologram means that we have pseudonymous identities with a wealth of expression that I really never thought I could.”

Pow and Hongzi Mao, co-founders of Hologram, began work on the project in December 2021. Prior to Hologram, Pow built consumer-facing crypto products at 0x Labs and 3D digital twin apps at ML robotics. startup, while Mao researched the machine. learning and processing video at places like DeepMind and MIT, with thousands of citations to his credit.

Following the South Park Commons meeting, they launched Hologram and are rapidly advancing product development and collaboration to become a solution for bringing online communities and brands to life.

Hologram says it builds an all-in-one platform for virtual creatures. Taking advantage of the latest advances in 3D, machine learning and web3, Hologram enables any online community to create and engage with highly immersive digital people, objects and experiences of scale . Users can connect with others, create content, and build their brand on any video or gaming platform, such as Zoom, Twitch, VR chat, and hundreds more as digital characters online. just one click.

“This means we’re building the authoring framework to empower any online community to create digital personalities, wearables, and unique digital assets of scale,” Pow said. “And also by creating tools that allow any user to become their virtual personas and visual identities with one click on any video platform.”

Founders of Holograms
The founders of the Hologram are Hongzi Mao (left) and Tong Pow.

Pow says the promise of the metaverse is to create worlds where you can be whoever you want.

“And so is the idea of ​​pseudonymity. And we really, really took the angle,” Pow said. “So starting with video, which is the most accessible and attractive medium of communication and self -expression, we’re basically building the infrastructure layer to allow everyone to be their digital identity.”

Currently, the company supports 2D and 3D avatars. Pow thinks avatars help create a sense of presence, that you’re taken to another place in the metaverse. And it makes sense to use NFT art and other images seen by people to represent their personality. However, in video calls, people are forced to show themselves in front of the camera, which makes some uncomfortable.

For Google Meet calls, Hologram has created a Chrome extension that allows the app to see avatars belonging to the crypto wallet. To see what NFTs you have, and you can take one of the avatars and make them what the company calls “holograms.” Hologram then animates that image as an animated avatar, and it can move the character’s mouth in lip-sync as you speak.

Thanks to its partnerships, users now have access to thousands of avatars they create on different platforms.

“What we sell directly is utility for your NFTs,” Pow said.

The company generates revenue through its partnerships with various NFT and avatar makers. In the end, he hopes to directly monetize consumers around their customizations. Over time, the company hopes to make collections of avatars available to other users, with their permission.

As for competitions like Ready Player Me or Genies, Pow is excited.

“I’m very happy that there are so many avatar companies creating their own IP, their own brands,” he said. “With Hologram, we really think about supporting and expressing you, and enabling that with immersive experiences.”

Hologram also hopes to earn points from influencers and Vtubers, or the virtual persons people use to express their personalities in live streams and recorded videos. Vtubers are very fast starting in Asia.

The company now has a team of six people and hires.

The company has contracts that require users to respect intellectual property, so it is not acceptable to use avatars that infringe on the copyright of others without permission. It must be implemented in the Hologram.

Pow grew up in Shenzhen, China, and he loved playing Chinese massively multiplayer online role-playing games, and he considered it a metaverse when he was young. The main fantasy is to be different in a virtual world. Extending this to the current idea of ​​the metaverse, whether in 2D screens, virtual reality or augmented reality, Pow thinks the part of self -expression is more important.

“I think identities are very important,” Pow said.

Pow admits that he is very good at science fiction and crypto culture, and therefore wearing an avatar is normal for him and his friends. He can be embarrassed if he shows his true face on job calls, and he thinks a lot of people feel that way. On the other hand, business meetings often require trust, so entrepreneurs want to show their true selves. Pow points out that many people are recognizable by the work they do and their reputation, so they don’t have to show their face on calls.

The creed of GamesBeat if covering the video game industry is “where excitement meets business”. What does this mean? We want to tell you how important the news is to you, not only as a decision maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of the game. Whether you’re reading our articles, listening to our podcasts, or watching our videos, GamesBeat can help you get to know and engage with the industry. Learn more about membership.

Leave a Comment