- From the outside, it may look like we have been busy selling MovieMask. But in reality, we have been working quietly on our AR product for over a year now, says CEO and co-founder Eirik Wahlstrøm.
- We took it to the global Consumer Electronics Show, and my co-founder Harald Manheim managed to get Google’s head of AR/VR strategy to try it. He was quite impressed.
Founders Harald Manheim (left) and Eirik Wahlstrøm testing out MagiMask's tracking kit. Photo credits: Ludenso / MagiMask
While well-known competitors Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens retail at USD 2295 and 5000 respectively, MagiMask sells at just USD 100.
- It is our low-cost technology that enables us to really make an impact on AR, explains Wahlstrøm.
- We believe people have been led into AR with false hopes and outrageously expensive hardware. We have created a hardware platform for mobile AR, using our unique head-mounted display and tracker kit. Our gear works with 99% of the existing apps without customizations.
- We have always been fascinated by how technology will shape our future. With MagiMask, we can make an impact.
MagiMask will ship early 2019, and those who are keen to try it, can get it through their current ongoing KickStarter campaign. According to Wahlstrøm, the AR product is not quite ready for mass-market yet, so the initial target market will be a global community of technology enthusiasts. However, when the team took MagiMask out on the streets for people to try, the test-users were beyond excited:
- Software developers is an important group for us to reach now. We want to provide an easy way in to AR, for those who want to explore, and experiment without the heavy investment. Our product comes with a software platform and some low-cost hardware. We want to see thousands of new AR-products built on our simple platform. Solutions that will reach millions of users around the globe.
- We believe AR will be the new form of interaction in the future. Essentially, it is all about connecting the physical reality with digital. And we want to be the preferred platform for developing these new applications.
Photo: Ludenso / MagiMask
Today, AR is widely used across industries - in healthcare, education and training. Visualizing buildings and objects that are not yet there. Gaming and entertainment, and much more. While the MagiMask-team started out with a more simple product, AR has always been at the back of their minds.
- In the early days, we experimented with a lot of ideas on the drawing-board. Ideas that could potentially be the next Google or Facebook if we succeeded. But all those ideas were way too ambitious for a first project.
Photo: Ludenso / MagiMask
Eirik Wahlstrøm and co-founder Harald Manheim met during their student days, through a mutual fascination for technology, and entrepreneurship.
The first idea they went ahead with, was MovieMask. It came after a night at the cinema in San Francisco.
- We were watching Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, and thought to ourselves - how can we bring this grand cinema-experience to mobile? 2D still rules for TV and cinema, so we didn’t bother with 3D-features for MovieMask, Wahlstrøm says.
- But now, we are going back to our roots, and building something with real impact.
Text: Hilde Gudvangen