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.

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!

bitstars meets Gartner for Industry 4.0 Round-Table

The past Thursday, bitstars VP of Customer & Data Analytics & Optimization Maximilian Speicher participated in a round-table discussion about Industry 4.0, organized and hosted by Garnter in Frankfurt. As a tech provider in Industry 4.0, for us the event was particularly interesting and helpful for staying up to date regarding the current AR & VR ecosystem and potential cooperation partners.

Equipped with a Ricoh THETA 360° camera and his smartphone, Max demonstrated the capabilities of augmented and virtual reality that can be leveraged using our cutting-edge web-platform holobuilder. Also, he engaged in fruitful discussions about interactive AR instruction manuals and OPC UA, which are two core use cases of our platform. Especially Bettina Tratz-Ryan, Research VP at Gartner, enjoyed playing around with the spherical camera a bit, as you can see in the #360selfie below.

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.

Runway San Francisco: Meeting the CEO

Today Mostafa Akbari showed me his workplace, the Runway in San Francisco. Located at the heart of San Francisco, the Runway is a community of entrepreneurs and influencers who strive to do the best they can. Because Twitter’s headquarter is in the same building, you need to get a special permission to visit in order for the security to let you in. I’m already feeling enlightened and very important ;).

Right after entering the complex, I was very impressed with the available space and services. The Runway San Francisco is a beautifully designed and modern office suite, with videoconferencing, several meeting rooms, flexible office space and a different lounge to relax and communicate with like-minded people. It’s welcoming, charming and the atmospthere has just the right mix of focus and ease, not your typical ‚you have a desk – don’t complain“ atmosphere. The layout is extremely simple yet intuitive. The amount of open space is incredible and refreshing to see, especially after having seen other „comparable“ institutes. The designer is a master of indirect lightning – the room is both bright and well-lit but non-glaring at the same time, making it easy to feel right at home. Private call rooms are available and almost always free.

The German Accelerator has hired several tables in the Runway San Francisco. This is where I meet Mostafa Akbari. The following presentation gives you a great impression of the Runway. Feel free to find your ways around and discover the Runway in a 360°-presentation.

Supermarktbesuch in Palo Alto

Überleben in Palo Alto? 1.Chance: supermarket in Palo Alto! #holoventure

Die ersten Tage in Palo Alto sind vorbei und die Zeit wurde genutzt, um anzukommen, sich zu orientieren und sich einzuleben.

In diesem Blogartikel nimmt euch Mo über den holobuilder in einen Supermarkt in Palo Alto mit. Es gibt eine Reihe von Supermärkten vor Ort, von denen die meisten Safeway, Whole Foods und Trader Joes sind. Sie sind über die ganze Stadt verteilt und nicht immer leicht zu finden.

Die Supermärkte in Palo Alto zeichnen sich durch ein reichhaltiges gesundes und frisches Angebot aus. Schließlich legen die Gründer und Startup – Mitarbeiter wert auf gesunde Ernährung. Die Preise können dabei zwischen den einzelnen Supermärkten stark variieren. Dennoch sollten sie nicht an den deutschen Preisen gemessen werden. Lebensmittel sind in den USA allgemein sehr teuer, insbesondere im Silicon Valley. Für eine Familie kann man durchaus mit 2.000-3.000 $ im Monat rechnen.

Erster Eindruck beim Betreten des Supermarktes in Palo Alto

Der Kunde wird durch ein freundliches, helles und weites Ambiente empfangen. Jede Ecke des Supermarktes wirkt außerordentlich sauber und die üppigen Gemüse- und Obstauslagen, bei denen man sich fragen könnte, wer das alles Essen soll, laden zu einem Einkaufserlebnis ein. In einigen Supermärkten wird das Gemüse sogar von feinen Wasserstrahlen beregnet, was den Gemüse eine besondere Frische verleiht und der Einkäufer zugleich ein bisschen unterhalten wird.

In einigen Supermärkten finden sich neben den Nahrungsmittelangeboten auch immer wieder Ecken, in den frisch zubereitetes Essen oder wie in unserem Beispiel Kaffee von Starbucks angeboten wird.

An den Kassen sitzen die Kassierer nicht, sie arbeiten im Stehen. Mit fast jedem Kunden wechseln sie ein paar freundliche Worte, warten geduldig auf die Ausstellung der Schecks, Kreditkarten, etc. und packen währenddessen die Einkäufe des Kunden in Tüten und fragen, ob jemand behilflich sein soll die Einkäufe zum Wagen zu bringen.

Holoplayer: Welcome to a supermarket in Palo Alto

Starting journey to Silicon Valley from Frankfurt

Silicon Valley – unser Abenteuer beginnt!

kurzer Reisebericht: Silicon Valley – unser Abenteuer beginnt!

Der Weg von Aachen nach Palo Alto (Silicon Valley) ist lang und abwechslungsreich. Ein paar Eindrücke wollen wir euch in diesem Blogartikel zusammen stellen.

Bereits in der Früh um 07:15 Uhr startete Mostafa Akbari für bitstars mit dem Taxi bei kalten 2°C (35,6°F) zum Aachener Hauptbahnhof. Von dort aus ging es mit dem Zug, wie viele weitere Pendler nach Frankfurt/Flughafen.

Mit einer Verspätung von 90 min ging es von Frankfurt/Flughafen weiter mit dem Flugzeug nach San Francisco (Ankunft-Ortszeit: 5:30 PM). Silicon Valley rückt damit um ein ganzes Stück näher! Spätestens jetzt wurde das Abenteuer „Silicon Valley“ real! Der Flug allein wird jedoch noch etwa 11 h Stunden ohne Unterbrechung andauern.

Nachdem Mostafa den Flughafen in San Francisco endlich nach einiger Wartezeit verlassen konnte, wurde auch hier wieder der Weg von San Francisco nach Palo Alto wieder auf Schienen zurückgelegt. Nach knapp 24 h Reisezeit erreicht Mostafa sein Ziel. Vor Ort wird Mostafa von warmen 16°C (60,8°F) Sonnenstrahlen und einem blauen Himmel begrüßt. Das Silicon Valley erstrahlt im schönsten Gewand! So lassen sich nach der langen Reisezeit die letzten Meter auch noch zu Fuß zurücklegen.

Müde, aber ohne große Probleme wird Mostafa Akbari von seinem Gastgeber empfangen. Im Holobuilder von bitstars haben wir für euch ein paar Eindrücke festgehalten.

     

Um die lange Wartezeit zu überbrücken und sich auf den Ort einzustimmen, empfiehlt der Gründer von bitstars Interessierten das Hörspiel „Silicon Valley: Was aus dem mächtigsten Tal auf uns zukommt“ von Christoph Keese (Twitteraccount). Eine kleine Leseprobe stellt Keese auf seiner Website zur Verfügung. Der Journalist und Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Christoph Keese arbeitete 2013 ein halbes Jahr lang im Silicon Valley. Dort traf er Erfinder, Gründer, Wagniskapitalgeber und Professoren in Stanford und Berkeley – auf der Suche nach Erfolgsmustern und Treibern der boomenden Internetwirtschaft.

Holoplayer: Silicon Valley – unser Abenteuer beginnt!

Im Holoplayer könnt ihr Mostafa auf einem Teil seines Weges begleiten. Das Laden der Einbindung kann auf verschiedenen Browsern etwas dauern (optimiert für Google Chrome). Navigiert über die Pfeile.