Holographic capture startup 8i released its Holo app for Android and iOS Thursday, giving anyone with a compatible device a way to add a number of Holograms to their video recordings. The company also announced a partnership with Sony Pictures to add Spider-Man holograms to the app ahead of the premiere of “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
8i first announced Holo in February as its take on the growing augmented reality trend. Holo is essentially a camera app that can be used to record videos, complete with the addition of photo-realistic 3D holograms. Users can simply pick the hologram of their choice, and then add it to whatever they’re recording.
In addition to Sony Pictures, 8i also partnered with Verizon’s Go90, Hearst and AOL’s RYOT to bring additional content to the app. Some of the holograms coming to the app at launch, or soon after, include actress Debby Ryan, a Trump impersonator, MMA star Anderson Silva, comedian Flula Borg, Roc Nation talent, a real-life tiger, and a dog in a hot dog costume.
Altogether, there will be hundreds of holograms available at launch, said 8i CEO Steve Raymond in an interview with Variety. Each hologram has been captured in its studio in Los Angeles, and all of the content will be available for free, at least for the time being anyway.
8i is releasing its Holo app just as tech juggernauts like Facebook and Apple start to focus on phone-based augmented reality (AR). Both companies have announced tools to allow developers to add AR effects to their apps. Raymond said that 8i is looking to bring support for Apple’s ARKit to the iOS version of Holo as soon as possible. With that, the app will be able to not only add holograms to videos, but actually have the app recognize objects and for example place Spider-Man on the surface of a table.
8i launched in 2014 with a focus on holographic capture for virtual reality, an area that the company is still focused on as well. In March, 8i premiered the “Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars” VR experience at SXSW, which featured 3D holograms of the famed astronaut. Raymond said that Aldrin will show up in the Holo app sooner or later as well, adding that its studios allow the company to quickly shoot holographic video clips for both high-end VR and phone-based AR. “For us, it’s one and the same,” he said.