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Martina Havranová
December 12, 2021, 10:23am
Reading time: 6:47

Slovak Company Matsuko Developed Unique Technology For Creating Holograms. In the Metaverse, They Hold an Advantage Over Avatars

Matsuko has introduced a unique technology that can create a 3D human hologram using just one iPhone camera. They are currently working on launching the product on the US market.

Martina Havranová
December 12, 2021, 10:23am
Reading time: 6:47
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Slovak Company Matsuko Developed Unique Technology For Creating Holograms. In the Metaverse, They Hold an Advantage Over Avatars
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Years ago, the founders of Matsuko, Mária Virčíková and Matúš Kirchmayer, launched the 3D Skin Analyzer, which was able to show a person in much more detail than any other product in the world. Together, they travelled to San Francisco to attend a lecture by Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom. "That was a day when they started thinking about how to make a revolution in communication technologies, and holograms are the result of this effort," says Štefánia Puzderová, Business Operations Manager at Matsuko

Drawing together innovations from the world of 3D games, which is Matúš Kirchmayer’s area of expertise, and Mária Virčíková's knowledge from the world of robotics and artificial intelligence has brought a completely unique technology that can create a human 3D hologram using just one iPhone camera. Thanks to this piece of tech, we could replace online on-screen meetings to meetings with our holograms sitting around a table. The company has managed to expand onto the US market, where it’s now working on the launch of the product.


You are currently completing the product in the States. Is the US market more prepared for hologram communication?

This is a definitive yes. There are more users of 3D technology. If you want to use the 3D version of our product and you want to have holograms facing each other, you need 3D glasses. This market is still very small in Slovakia or even in Europe in general. Americans still lead in finding and utilising the latest technology. That's why we're currently targeting the US market. Several large communication companies have expressed interest in launching our product.

Can you tell us what companies?

One of them is, for example, T-Mobile. We took part in a program, and eight companies from all over the world were chosen - Matsuko as the only one from Europe.


How would you describe the product you are bringing to market?


We are now communicating in 2D via the camera. We are not in the room with each other. However, based on your iPhone's camera, we can use Matsuko technology to make your hologram be present in my room, sitting across from me. Until now, holograms on the market have been created as avatars. You could set what you wanted to look like, but it wouldn't be you.


The second type were holograms, which were projected to the viewer on the screen using green screen technology. And you needed about a hundred cameras for that. This is what they did with Novak Djoković, for example. We can make a hologram based on one camera.


How did you manage to simplify something this complicated into an application, that can create a hologram using only an iPhone camera?

Thanks to the combination of the expertise of Matúš and Mária. He comes from the 3D world, where he has worked on the titles of various world-famous videogames, such as Assassin's Creed. Maria is an expert in the field of artificial intelligence. They put together 3D and AI technology, and based on this connection, they were able to create the technology that is currently waiting for a patent. It is actually an algorithm that can create a human 3D hologram from a 2D camera in real time. Most holograms do not work in real time. That is why it is possible to use our technology, for example, to create 3D business meetings.

Our goal is not to replace face-to-face meetings, but to provide something within the 2D world, that has not been possible there so far. Thanks to holograms, we have a much greater sense of commitment and presence. We think this could help teams that now work in a hybrid model and combine home office work with office work. It is expected that this blended model of working will not disappear after the pandemic.


Our goal is not to replace face-to-face meetings, but to provide something within the 2D world, that has not been possible there so far.

Our company often communicated using Zoom. We have a design team in Paris, some programmers in Montreal or Bulgaria. We have other colleagues in Ireland. In day-to-day communication, we see that the 2D connections have some shortcomings. Our technology can improve these shortcomings.

We are communicating with various telecommunication companies and our application of the product suits them. With the possibilities of 5G networks, they want to bring customers not only games, but also applications for regular users. On the other hand, the customers themselves are asking for better solutions in a world where everyone works remotely. We really think we will enter the market next year. We are currently testing the product with our first users, trying to get as much feedback as possible.

3D technologies are expected to find widespread use, especially after Apple comes to the market with 3D glasses. Their launch is scheduled for 2022. Have you started communicating with them as well?

I am not at liberty to name specific partners yet, as we are bound by a non-disclosure agreement. Especially for companies like Apple, these agreements are very strict. Apple glasses will be a milestone in the 3D world, and we're basically waiting for them to arrive. When they come, we will be ready, and if they worked with our application, it would be great. The result of the cooperation could be, for example, that our application would already be integrated in the glasses when they are purchased.

To better illustrate how Matsuko technologies work, imagine a situation where, for example, Apple is launching new products. The company's manager introduces them to the whole world. With our technology, he could introduce it to every person, in their home, in their living room. In addition, his hologram would be in several households at once, which is not possible in the real world.

What is the basis for your application creating a human hologram?

The details of the transformation from 2D to 3D are hidden within our patent. As a user, you only need one iPhone camera. You turn the phone in front of you, as you do during a Facetime call and the camera captures you.

Based on this alone, the other party will see your hologram. In addition, the hologram moves just like a human. If you turn on a chair or change your perspective, the person you are communicating with will also see it. It is a much more natural perception of a person and the whole communication situation.



One of your clients is the German cosmetics concern Beiersdorf. How does the world of holograms and cosmetics work together?

Beauty and cosmetics is where it all started. It was the cosmetic companies that needed to take a close look at our skin, and our company introduced the ground-breaking 3D Skin Analyzer. We are now working with communication companies, and we have moved further from the world of cosmetics.


Personally, I think that holograms will eventually be used in every industry. Sometimes the market itself tells us, how different users interact with and use our hologram technology. The most important task for us now, is to improve communication in the B2B world. Since we talk about the Metaverse, we know that we will all be represented within it using 3D technology. We are currently represented by avatars, but in the future, it will be much better if everyone could be themselves using holograms.

Metaverse is a frequently used word these days. Is your company becoming a part of its development?

I think, that with the hologram technology we will have an advantage over avatars. It's a very young market, so we, as hologram companies, don't even see each other as competitors. Rather, our existence confirms that holograms have potential and are in demand on the market.

Avatars that currently dominate the Metaverse found their use in entertainment. If you want to make business deals or talk about something serious, it is important to see yourself in the real form. For example, when we think about the life of an CEO of an international company from before the pandemic, these people were on the road almost non-stop..

They needed to be in Paris on Monday, in Tirana on Wednesday and in the USA on Friday. In addition, business travel has a major impact on emissions production. With our technology, we could significantly reduce the need for this type of travel. I don't mean that people should stop traveling. This is a solution for people who need to be in a different place every day due to their work.

It would also have a positive effect on the personal lives of people on the move. Instead of rushing to the airport in the morning, they could have breakfast with their family and then have business meetings from the comfort of their office. However, thanks to hologram technology, they would sit at the same table with business partners. Exactly as we saw in the Kingsman movie.

What is the feedback from your first clients, who are already using hologram technology in their everyday life?

We are in the testing phase. We have launched first access for people who want to be the first ones to use holograms. They can log in through our site. Initial feedback tells us that the application came at the right time. Our customers describe, that this way of communication brings us much closer to reality. Eye contact, for example, is much more natural.


In a 2D world, for example, during a multi-person conversation, it is more difficult to guess who will finish the story and when can we get involved. If we sit at a table with the people we communicate with, we can estimate this more easily. However, we do not want to compete with 2D applications. We imagine being their 'upgrade'.

How are investors reacting to this shift in building a 3D world?

We are just closing one investment round. Investors are increasingly contacting us themselves. Based on this, we also see the potential of the product not only in the short term, but also in the long term. Something that helps our situation is the fact that, as a result of the pandemic, we are still unable to meet in person.


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