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HBO, Discovery Take Ownership Stakes in VR, Hologram Company

19 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Convinced virtual reality and holographic rendering can appeal beyond video gamers, HBO and Discovery Communications April 19 announced they have acquired ownership stakes in Otoy, a cloud graphics company.

Otoy said it is currently working with former Comedy Central host Jon Stewart on the development of holographic content for the comedian’s upcoming HBO multi-platform show.

“Otoy has a roadmap for the future of entertainment and technology. Their creativity and drive perfectly aligns with HBO’s,” Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, said in a statement.

Twentieth Century Fox has been the most aggressive studio seeking to meld virtual reality with movies and home entertainment. At CES in 2015, Fox debuted “The Wild Experience,” a VR supplement to Reece Witherspoon’s Pacific Rim hiking movie Wild. For Oscar-nominated The Martian, Fox created “The Martian VR Experience,” a 30-minute VR journey that enables viewers to personally navigate select scenes of the movie in a rover.

Otoy’s mission is to make holographic and immersive content available for mass consumption — from HTML5, to TV and social, to wearables, according to founder/CEO Jules Urbach.

“The future of media and entertainment is not going to be constrained by a screen, nor consumed through monolithic apps or platforms,” Urbach said.

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