Jaunt Jumps: Tech Expansion Into XR Distribution

Jaunt continues to make a name for itself in its expansion of XR tech. The company first blasted onto the scene in 2013 as a creator of 360-degree videos and cinematic VR experiences. Now, it has unveiled new research and development issues to support its growing Jaunt XR platform, a business-to-business solution that enables media partners to distribute augmented, virtual and mixed reality content through their own applications and channels.
“There’s a concept called volumetric capture, the idea of capturing not just a flat representation of a human being but a full 3D view,” Jaunt CEO George Kliavkoff told CFX . “Historically that’s bene incredibly expensive and very rare in studios. Our engineers created software that costs less than $10K, is very portable and can be set up in about 2 or 3 hours. We’re able to use machine learning to teach computers to watch what’s coming in from a handful of sensors and stream live a full volumetric capture of that human being.”

The tech films a subject from a 360-degree perspective, then outputs an avatar that matches the subject’s appearance, movements and vocals in the form of a shareable, to-scale augmented reality asset. The new AR software is helping Jaunt make the transition from a consumer-focused model to a business-to-business solution. Cable networks have been experimenting in the space. The Weather Channel was early to jump on the immersive mixed reality tech train, teaming up with The Future Group to create hyper-realistic tornadoes around meteorologist Jim Cantore. Using the Unreal Engine, Weather’s vp of design Michael Potts is planning to bring the technology into living rooms by allowing the viewer’s devices to act as extensions of the linear presentations. In March, CNN teamed with interactive studio Magnopus to launch CNNVR for Oculus Rift.

Jaunt’s Kliavkoff believes that XR content will rapidly become the next major means of distributing content. The Jaunt XR Platform allows augmented reality assets, virtual reality content, and 2D assets to be delivered across devices and live side-by-side with existing media libraries. Previously, all VR, AR and mixed reality formats had different tech chains. Now they can all be viewed through a single player.

“This reminds me a lot of the early days of web video as well as mobile video, and for me it’s really interesting to see the way that the shift in media is a recurring pattern,” Kliavkoff said. “I’ve seen this movie before, it’s coming and you feel on the brink, and this is the year where I feel like all the media companies, cable operators and satellite providers will bleed into this content.”

Jaunt has already announced deals with major corporations such as Disney, Fox and Sky. In 2016, Disney led a $65mln round of funding into the company. Sky, Diageo and NTT Data are among customers already using the XR Platform to deliver content to their viewers. “We’re the only VR company that actually distributes content globally,” Kliavkoff explained. “We’re positioned to work with every media company.” So what does XR content offer media? “All our partners are having issues with keeping viewers at the numbers they’re traditionally used to, and they’re struggling to engage the users,” Kliavkoff said. “That’s the interesting thing about immersive content, you’re kind of all engaged. And all reports indicate when someone’s watching that content, you get higher viewer time, brand retention, increased social sharing.”

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