Primal Space Systems presented the GPEG technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas on January 8th through January 12th.
Primal Space Systems Inc. exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 January in Las Vegas. We were selected to be one of three startup companies representing North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park Startup Pavilion, supported by the State of North Carolina. Our exhibit was part of the National Science Foundation’s Eureka Park section of the show, which focuses on early technology companies.
Our exhibit and attendance at the conference sessions generated some good interest in GPEG technology for both entertainment and navigation.
In the entertainment space, content and technologies which provide more immersion and interactivity were an overarching theme of the conference sessions.
Leaders in the television, motion picture, and sports industries strongly agreed that their traditional linear content will be diversified to provide more engaging “Spatial Entertainment”. The two elements of ‘spatial entertainment’ are immersive presentation (e.g. high definition, VR) and user freedom (e.g. the ability to move within the content).
We attended a conference given by Ted Schilowitz, strategist for new technologies at Paramount Pictures and Cofounder of Hype VR. Ted expressed the opinion that modern video games have greatly advanced the art of storytelling. His work at Paramount has focused on bringing the elements of spatial entertainment and interactive storytelling to expand the possibilities of cinema. Ted has been working with Intel’s ‘volumetric video’ tech which provides some limited motion interactivity, but requires a massive amount of data. Ted later made an extended visit to Primal Space’s exhibit where he agreed that GPEG was a novel and compelling approach to the problems of streaming spatial entertainment. I told Ted that I agreed with his premise that interactive content streaming will be important to the future of entertainment. He suggested that this future will begin to happen now.
Another visitor to our exhibit was Gregor Lakner, Chief Creative Director/Producer with Noitom. Gregor spent 10 years as CG Supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic before helping to establish Noitom, a motion picture technology company focusing on motion capture. Gregor was very excited about the potential of GPEG to stream immersive interactive content. He expressed strong interest in having Noitom work with Primal Space.
Jim Gerber, VP of Partnerships with Samsung Next also visited our exhibit and wanted to explore ways in which we could work with their Gear VR division. I have already followed up on this.
In sports broadcasting, the theme of spatial entertainment technologies continued. I discussed with James Carwana, VP and General Manager of Intel Sports how GPEG could potentially extend the interactivity and streaming potential of Intel’s ‘volumetric video’ technique. The ’volumetric video’ tech uses 28 cameras placed around NFL Stadiums and NBA arenas to allow a stop action 360 degree video playback, similar to the ‘bullet time’ scenes common since the 1999 film, The Matrix. Intel acquired the volumetric technology with the acquisition of the startup Replay Technologies for $175M in 2016 (Replay had raised $30M in 3 funding rounds since founding in 2011). We believe that GPEG will take important steps beyond volumetric rendering in immersion, interactivity, and streaming efficiency.
In the navigation space, we met both CEO and CTO of Velodyne Lidar, who expressed interest in GPEG-NAV as an efficient way to move navigational data. Similar interest was expressed by Here Inc. and Tom Tom. I also had the opportunity to briefly introduce myself and PSS to the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. We met at some length with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Finch Fulton (White House drone Czar) who found the GPEG-NAV approach to next-gen 3D aeronautical charts for cities very interesting. We plan to meet in greater depth.
Overall, there seemed to be broad validation for importance of GPEG capabilities and a recognition of the uniqueness of our approach.
It was an enormous and busy event with 180,000 in attendance and 4000 companies exhibiting.
Thanks to Jim, John, and Bill Freeman, we made more than 50 interesting contacts at CES 2018 and have begun to follow up with them.