People In XR – Episode 9 – Shahar Bin-Nun – CEO Humaneyes Technologies (Vuze VR Cameras)

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In this episode of the People In XR podcast it is my utmost pleasure to speak with Shahar Bin-Nun who is the CEO of Humaneyes Technologies. The company is known for its Vuze line of VR cameras.

Shahar tells us about the fascinating story how his company pivoted from being a pure software company to taking on the task of competing in the hardware business, producing their first ever electronic device – the Vuze 360 3D camera.

And now sit back, relax and enjoy this episode of the People In XR podcast!

Vuze Cameras:

MRTV Discord:
MRTV Elite:
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My VR Rig:
GTX 1080ti (but will likely be replaced by 2080ti at one point, made sure to make this 2080ti ready)
Asus Rog Strix Z370-F Gaming Mainboard
Intel Core i7 8700k Processor
32GB DDR4 Ram (G.Skill Ripjaws)
1 TB Samsung SSD NVMe
4TB Seagate HDD
Fractal Design Define R6 Blackout Case
Seasonice 850W Focus Plus Power Supply
be quiet! Dark Rock 4 cooler
welcome to MRT B's people in XR this is the podcast that introduces you to the most exciting players in the industry and here is your host Sebastian arm in this episode of the people in Ex our podcast it's my utmost pleasure to speak with Shahar be known who is the CEO of the human eyes technologies hi sha hi hi hi Sebastian how are you very well very happy to speak it with you at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we have met once in CES before that's correct which was really interesting you showed me your cameras and well in this podcast we're going to go in depth about your cameras about the VR industry how your cameras fit into them and how you get to be in the position that you are in now being the CEO of a company that is working in the XR in virtual reality and all these interesting fields of technology okay so Shahar first tell us a bit more about humanized technologies the company that you're the CEO of what kind of products do you produce tell us more okay so human eyes is actually a 19 year old company like a young startup started yesterday with a new cool product it's a it was established in the year of 2008 19 years ago by Professor pellet from the Hebrew University a professor of computer vision and its main purpose was to provide computer vision solutions mainly in 3d to the printing industry really and display industry so it's uh it was started as a small startup in the inside the Hebrew University by Professor Peleg and then we decided to where we started develop a lot of technology related to the printing industry so we've explored you know the life of a start-up in Israel is not so everywhere not only in Israel of course it's not so simple it's very very challenging a small company is trying to develop new a new technologies and we were debating that I did not work for human eyes at that time I joined human eyes only eight years later so now we are in 2000 until 2008 the company had at least 20 patents in the field of computer vision at that time now we have 70 by the way already and started working with solutions for a graphic arts and people thing actually already twice so in 2004 changed a little bit focusing the technology and in 2008 going into service of lenticular printing so that was in 2011 ticular printing what kind of printing you lenticular printing is you know there's a little of that the plastic thing with lenses that you can have bring print to life so you can do changes of the video you can do also video printing in a way flip angels 3d images in it using the lenses ins of the of the plastic and up until now we are considered to be one of the most leading software solutions for lenticular printing and still companies are buying printing houses all over the world are buying our solutions okay but quite frankly did not generate enough business for us so we went into the service of lenticular printing we've opened and at that time I already joined the company were open services that you can print a little cards by or by yourself going online and we had the service in the u.s. in Germany in the UK and again generated a very interesting business for us but was not enough so we said what's next so we've accumulated a lot of knowledge in 3d and we decided ok let's let's explore what can we do more sure I was asked by mr. Benny Landa who is our chairman of the board Benny Landa was a CEO and founder of indigo was later acquired by HP the he's known as the father of digital printing in the world so he's approached us and says ok guys what can we do more I can do next so it was a very interesting time back in 2014 what we said ok let's explore what what we want to do let's see what do we have some advantage of and what are the interesting market and if you remember at that time Facebook acquired oculus and on a VR started gaining traction there was some traction going on yes so said that can be an interesting thing but we are software company you need to bear in mind we're at that time a pure software company ok that is interesting that you know now that I see your mythology that it's exactly it's crazy yeah and then we said you know something maybe we can leverage our technologies and the 3d capabilities and the computer vision capabilities and develop a software for VR cameras or the ability to stitch videos to and and create 3d content and and we said that's that's a nice nice idea but it is one idea and we've explored actually 15 different ideas what do we want to do it back in 2014 we narrow it down quit quite fast to only two ideas I don't want to bore your viewers and their listeners with all the 15 or so the other solution would be too much yes but it was an interesting time for for about four months and then we we said okay we will do is software for virtual reality cameras ok but it took us maybe two months more to understand that just a pure software for VR cameras is not enough and then we we decided to have a giant leap of we decided to dive into the very very cold and deep water of consumer electronics there is like a huge jump isn't you have never made consumer latrans before yeah you know you can make the software but you had no idea how to make the hardware you know there's a in Hebrew we say if you don't have sense or mind you don't have any worries if you're so stupid you don't worry of anything right in a way as a joke it was it was this decision let's jump into into this cold water we don't really understand what it means yes let's do that anyway why not yes so I remember the discussion at the board of directors trying to convince our board of taxes and they asked me a very smart questions why would the small company out of Jerusalem compete in in consumer electronics with the Giants and I said why not I managed to convince them and they said yes let's let's do that and this is how the views camera was was born so we have here in front of a Saturday the listeners cannot see the cameras but definitely the viewers can see the views in this case it's abuse blast camera so we have two we have two cameras on and so for all of the listeners you can always check out the YouTube channel MO TV because this podcast are also broadcast as video so so so so we said okay let's let's let's focus on 3d because we we know 3d we understand 3d so we decided to do this very very cool a few views camera which is for your customers who cannot see it right now our listeners it's a 3d 360 VR camera with eight full HD cameras a stereoscopic pair pointing at each direction so basically every pixel is being captured by two cameras just like her our eyes by the way the name human eyes was not related to VR and but it's a very very good easy perfect now it's absolutely perfectly so you we and deliberately we we have decided to choose all the way up until now the same distance the same IPD here human eyes creating about somewhere in between 58 millimeters to 64 millimeters this is the average of human eyes distance between each other so it means that we are capturing the content or the live the same way as we see it so we don't see more depth we don't exaggerate today it means that after 50 meters by the way we don't see depth anymore as humans and the sweet spot is somewhere in between two meters – 15 meters anyway so that was the views + capturing the entire sphere in 3d a I mean in every direction in every direction and because we believe that in order to create an immersive experience you must capture it in 3d because we see things in 3d by the way it's not only it's not enough to just capture it in 3d we also here in 3d for example when you talk with me you're on my right side I know that you're on Mar I said if even if I close my eyes I can hear it from the right side so we also have four microphones to capture 360 audio in this in this a camera so 3d and 360 audio all together allows you to create immersive experience a better especially if you're using a good VR headset we are enjoying all these feature features and so we have this now in front of us and this camera this 360 3d camera it looks like I don't know like a little view of oh but it's it's not huge so I've seen others they are like huge round balls basically right but but this one is like yeah I could put it into my backpack basically absolutely so so why is that so as compared to the the bigger ones right on the article we wanted from the very beginning to allow almost everyone to create VR content and we wanted in a way to democratize VR content creation so it was very important for us to really minimize the size of the the device took us a lot of effort because one of the challenges with the VR cameras it has so many lenses and power of computing inside is that it gets too hot there therefore it has to be big to evaporate ventilate evaporated heat etc but we managed to solve those a engineering and believe me was very very very difficult and again bear in mind we're a software company I won't talk about nicely much more later we didn't know what a chip is what what do you mean ship it's also world know so so yes we did a I think a remarkable job a for the beginning and then the product was accepted very well even though we had a lot of challenges one of the things that we want one said so so it has to be also affordable below $1,000 the first camera was only 799 $899 okay 799 u.s. dollars while at that time we were talking about back in 2016 the cheapest one after us was $16,000 Wow and then what's the name of the success it was a about a bunch of 16 GoPros rather with a the Google jump a product you have to buy actually 17 grow post put them together that was the only most affordable way after they've used a camera and then we had that time a Nokia for $50,000 it's a we are now in 2016 we're moving forward now to 2019 so in 2016 this came out in 2016 we launched it but we actually again remind you a small software company trying to release a very very complex hardware product so we had a delay instead of releasing it on October 2016 it was actually released only in March 2017 ok we had a four months a delay which was very very painful for our customers because they really expected many many of them expected the camera already but they they still remained loyal to us and waited politely most of them for another another four months and then it was released in March 2017 when we released it we realize that it's not actually a consumer product as we thought we wanted to make it as simple as possible one-button operation but still you need to know what you're doing to stitch the files you need to do it in a computer and by definition this is not a classic consumer product later on we understood that it this is a prosumer product actually the entire industry we'll talk later on about the industry is still not yet in a mass market of consumers still in the prosumer and professional market but we were a bit naive to way to assume that this product is suitable for Breger or for John Smith from Alabama okay so we gathered the feedback from our customers and then nine months later we released abuse plus which is proudly standing on this table is still relevant so we fixed a lot of things mainly in the audio and all kinds of thing it's basically the same camera but one of the the plasting here is that you're able now to broadcast live in 4k and in 3d while the first camera could not do that so this is a this is different with use plastic quite frankly now people are buying between those two cameras mostly the views Plus which is even even though it's a bit more expensive a thousand dollars or not $800 they buy only the views plus so within within time we understood we understood as as I said before that the mass adoption will take longer than expected the entire industry is still waiting and expecting and I can talk about if you want Y and mass adoption is taking longer maybe later on if ur interested with that yes but we became within time we became a player in this market a significant player in this market and we decided to go all the way to a very very affordable really for consumers easy to use a camera this is how the views XR a was born and and actually it's an interesting story how it was born I was born we were thinking of her what would be the next product and one of my VP's in the in the company entered my room one day with a I I don't have it here so but the listeners cannot see it but I will explain yes everybody's familiar with this little mini glasses you can put them on the smartphone right you can put them on the smartphone and actually enjoy with a 2 or $10 device a VR headset you can actually enjoy a very very good so this is some clear-cut hard boards headsets um these are lenses that he would snap onto your phone and then you have like the 3d vision if you have to Hoppus a picture right right yeah absolutely so he came to me with this obviously we added that to every package to every customer buying views or views glass got these little glasses for free to enjoy his content obviously if they want they can spend more money on a more a higher quality your head but this is a really cool product it came to me here to this room and said and and it was you can fold it you can fold it so it's closed and then you can open it that way so the people who can see that you can open and close it so this is a regular 360 camera like a ricotta at that time like a samsung gear back-to-back them thing if you open it it becomes a via 180 right let's do let's do a camera like that and you know something after debates of debates of debates of what do we need to do next for the next product I thought it's an excellent idea right and so we took a 360 camera changes into a via 180 and this is how the music star was born in addition to that a you know it sounds simple but I can tell you that it's extremely complicated because you need to make sure that the lenses are open and closed thousands of thousands of times would be very very accurate repeatable and everything so on the mechanical level it was a lot of efforts to develop that with that system and but we managed to to do that also on a design thing we were working with an amazing design company out of Tel Aviv and they they were struggling a lot with how do we do that the best way and they came up with six solutions this is by the way solution number five the music started standing on this table it's Russia number five and was chosen as their leading one for those for those who don't know the views exhort just explain to us what this camera can do again yes so yes well what's what's the camera is capable of doing today is is the two unique features of the camera is the fact that it is a dual camera has two cameras in one camera so there is maybe your listeners or your viewers can know that there are VR 180 cameras two lenses separated with each other and then they capture capture things stereoscopically in 180 degrees right and there's a lot a lot of 360 cameras back-to-back lenses that you need to stitch them together and then you have a 360 but in 2d right so what is circa this camera is doing is a dual camera is a 360 2d cam camera 2d 360 that when you open the lenses it opens to a stereoscopic VR 180 that's one a unique thing about the camera the second one it was the first camera above four cones for consumers prosumers at the level of a $400 device that is went up from 4k and resolution is extremely important for him for this industry and I will explain one minute why so because you think about I have a full HD television at home it's more than enough why why bother more full HD 4k it's crazy resolution but you know with VR 4k it's not so good it's just an OK resolution why is that because you take the same resolution and you spread it on the entire sphere and we as humans when we see we see only 90 degrees 90 to 100 degrees so you actually see approximately one-sixth of the sphere at the same time so when you're watching it on a VR headset you're seeing only 1/6 of a 4k which is already less than 1 K but that's not the only reason in addition to that you're putting it with the a lenses 2 centimeters away from your eyes basically a magnifying every pixel so a 4k is a good resolution but it's just an okay resolution for VR this is why the industry is so hungry for more and more resolution even though the ecosystem around it cannot absorb with such a high resolution so yes we identified that issue of course and we said we want to go above for okay we went to 5.7 K and yes it's a 50% more resolution you do see the difference in quality who are the first a 5.7 and until now the only dual camera that is doing at 5.7 this is what's so unique about the camera and it is extremely affordable it's only four hundred and thirty nine US dollars it is working very nicely with a in application that comes with it that you can edit it easily the content should see what you're shooting decide on the spot whether you need this scene is good for VR 180 or going for 360 whatever that's really cool so I had a chance to try it out actually I brought it to my evasion and it was it was spectacular it was really cool to to take those moments in 3d I went into to Taiwan and I went to this a beautiful landscape and then I took some 3d videos and to watch it later at home and 3d it makes it feel like okay I can relive that moment it has something magical to it myself so that was really really amazing so for all the viewers now this is the camera and now this is the 3d mode and so therefore the listeners that the two lenses they are like how do you call that they are not back to back like this is back to back the lenses then it's like three three sides to side by side the right right that's the word and if you open it then it's gonna be like two human eye I said actually right same distance at the average human eyes like this yes and yeah then you can capture footage in in the 3d with 80 degrees so yeah that's really really useful to decide okay do I want to show my viewers like everything just 360 or do I want to show them some moment like in hundred eighty degrees like 3d as if they were standing there just with me so yeah I used it and I really really enjoyed taking those thank you so much content that you created and very very beautiful content in Taiwan in other places really really cool so so that is one of them for example that you need to do when you creating such a dual-camera you need to bear in mind that for a 360 camera you need to have an overlap between the lenses so it's 210 degrees each lens because you need the overlap for the stitching shorter right but when you open it you don't need it's 210 because the platform of Google and by the way this camera is certified by Google in the VR 180 platform it has to be one huh 180 degrees only so in so in a way and not in a way it's a variable field of view so when the when the lenses are closed it is 210 degrees when you open it it it must be only a hundred and eighty degrees field of view so that's only one challenge this on the optical side that when you create a dual camera right so actually you could do even more feat of you you have more yes yes yes interesting but the platform itself you need to be compatible with the distribution channel right maybe that's a to explain to your listeners what is the we are industry the beer industry is built out of four legs if you will there is the capturing devices and we are part of it and there's quite a lot of capturing devices in the market there is there's the viewing devices which a VR headset there's hundreds of them as well too although obviously there are leading companies in in this arena so there's capturing devices viewing the devices but the most important part is how to share that type of content so we are definitely dependent upon the distribution channels which is mostly YouTube Facebook Vimeo Revere in China and some other companies that are trying to play in this industry it's definitely the most important part because once you create the content you want to show them and you don't want only to take a gigantic file give it to your mom copy it to your phone and give her a VR headset it's tedious so the best way is to share it through the distribution channels so the VR 180 we have to rely and understand how they want to accept the files so with VR 180 we've been talking with both Facebook and Google and other in others to see what is the right format what is the right size what is the IPD with distance that they want to show their the 3d and what is the metadata for stabilization of all kinds of other boring and stuff that you have to make work for them so this this is how we decided to build the respects of the veer 180 and the last part of it or so is guys like you inside the content creation right people who are actually using it creating content and enjoying this this Cameron and actually pushing also the industry forward by giving the the industry the manufacturers the players remarks of how it should be better so it's interesting how everything plays together like you have to make the specs and you have to look at the platforms how they want it to come together it's very exciting to put everything together into like one or two devices and especially you guys is not being a hardware company in the Indigo you must have learned so many things early and we're definitely going to talk about that more and you know what's interesting so I have uploaded these three sixty and eighty degree 3d videos onto YouTube to show them to my audience and they really really liked what they saw now I get emails from them from my from my subscribers and they tell me hey Sebastian please do more 3d content because it makes them feel more closer to me so absolutely it does it's just like as if they were there so that's why I brought the camera actually here to Mobile World Congress and later today I'm going to try the hololens to and i'm going to film my first time with the hololens – with your device i am very anxious to see that and that's going to be so exciting so i'm not to put it there and i'm going to walk around in the moon with the hololens – and this is going to go to youtube and i think that's going to be very very exciting for people to see me try that for the first time in 3d I'm looking forward to it so this is going to be really really cool yeah amazing so you line up the views the views + and the views XR that's it for this moment I'm yes well the views one is still available for a lower price naturally but yes the main two products that are selling well as the views + and the music's are quite frankly the music's are more yeah yeah it's just so useful yeah everywhere this will and more affordable so it's a it approaches more people even if you're not really a VR enthusiast you just want to learn about it it's a very very good entry-level to create high quality content in VR both in 360 and in VR 180 without knowing so much about this technology so it's a good entry while uses plus requires some more professional knowledge great and again you need to create it also with the computer right this is also some interesting part that we can talk about so you mentioned that actually there is still some stitching to be done right before for these kind of cameras so probably you can tell our listeners how that works say they they buy this camera yea they buy the music SAR and well they are probably this John Smith from Alabama right so how does he here how does he put everything on to you right now so you know for for this industry back in 2016 there was a a phrase it was used to be the stitches of beach all right and excuse my French it is it it is and it was I would say a major challenge in this industry because you need to take in the in our case with the views plus over the views it with eight videos you need to stitch eight videos together separate videos together and each camera sees things differently color wise you know white hue white balance in all countries differently and so you need to take in our case camera number one three four and seven one three five and seven stitch them for panorama four left eye two four six and eight for the right eye each and every one of them sees things differently in colors and everything so you need to adjust it so you have a clean view where you don't know so it is chant create things in 3d so was empty audio in 3d and the audio in 3d so the so it was very very challenging and a and technology is emerging there was a room for improvement I must say that today the leading players in the market have resolved that they have the computer vision capabilities to do that and the stitch is no longer a bitch it's accurate it's it's it's very good in most cases to excellent so you can deal with that you can you can always find some times where the stitch is but it's no longer an issue as it was back in 2016 for all players so it's better now it's a bitch anymore but it's still not yet gold fill material absolutely absolutely now now there is a requirements for this for this type of cameras a much higher than just do a good stitching it is also stabilization it's very very important because when you're walking in Taiwan on the beach your it was quite some shake shaking and your and you want to see everything stable and by the way stabilization of VR 180 is completely different than stabilization of 360 360 you always want to have the horizon run always 180 for example I'm holding now the camera what if I tilt it a little bit down what if I tilt it a little bit down and maybe I want to do that maybe I don't want to do that right so who knows what the photographer intended did you want to do that that's before that when you're in in 360 you always have the same sphere and you know that you everything must be stabilized so that's another challenge but I can tell you that we are helping our customers to make it extremely a simple soft now they don't need to bother about the stitching because teaching is done inside the camera at least for 4k but if they want a maximum resolution of 5.7 K and we do recommend that they do need to take it elsewhere click on another button and stitch it on a studio a post-processing right in general it made me sound much more simple yeah actually for all the listeners and the viewers actually it is it sounds more complicated than it is so basically what you do you have one want one program on your computer on my laptop I brought it to tell one right and it's called the view studio or what's the use 2d of you shall do then you simply connect the camera to your computer and then in in this view studio you will see the file you click on open and you click on render and write it right you don't have to yourself stitch anything it's just one button right right so if it sounds so so complicated all you have to stitch it not you have to click on the on the button and then the computer will stitch it for you but the best let me ask you a question can I ask you also yeah of course this changes either yourself is a regular consumer let's say I'm an early adapter I mean I'm obviously an early adapter yes so so you are a prosumer it means from maybe even a little bit for a professional so for some people just the fact that they need to download a software to the computer install it and then connect it and then understand a little bit what a what to do and then of course the software can do much more than just render if you know you can do fine stitching you can do stabilization you need to know a little bit what you're doing that's right and we we learned the hard way that is too complicated when you have a PC involved it's not is already not a pure consumer product when everything is automated when everything is done in the mobile and automatic and so on just one button on an application yes into a computer we need to do some processing it's already going into a higher level I'm not saying that consumers cannot do that consumers can definitely a lot of them can do that but it's a different level yes you're right if I would think that my mother would have gotten the camera and told her okay 5.7 K please stitch it on your computer exactly you're right that's exactly the problem worked it would have worked on her phone or on her iPad but no not computer okay now I get your point but if you tell your mother send me an email with your mobile you probably sent your neighbor will mobile easily or a text on what's up right right so do you think this 5.7 case teaching in the future it can be done by a mobile phone oh absolutely we the ecosystem of the this industry is moving forward very very fast and quite frankly the the capturing devices are not really the limitations captian devices can do 8 K 12 K easily but we spoke about the distribution channels are struggling with the 8k YouTube already can support 8k by the way but still they're reducing a little bit of resolution the bitrate in order to stream it fast so the ecosystem the VR headset that they don't have enough resolution to show a 5.7 case some of them the distribution channels all these are is life struggling with that but they are moving forward very very fast like the entire industry so the entire ecosystem is moving forward and we are dependent upon each other so you need to have a good capturing device but you also need to have a good VR headset to enjoy that and you also need to have distribution channel to share that and all of this is being built right now this whole ecosystem is growing all together so definitely correct it's a very exciting time right now yes so um views Juice Plus and views X are what is your knickknacks play or are you now satisfied here well you know all I can share is rest we're definitely gonna have a very very interesting next next share as you call it sure the road map as you can imagine is one of the most the biggest secrets of every company of course so until you are actually develop it you actually finishing and bouncing it and sharing it with the world you can share it with everybody but I can say that we are here to to play in this industry we are here to continue on contributing our small share to this industry and I can promise very very interesting products future very much looking forward to that so another question how does it feel for you to kind of conquer a new industry with this kind of 3d and a hundred eighty degree cameras because they're not so many players right in this industry like you one of the one of the only there are a few yes you can have them in one hand all right right even less even less exactly so you kind of like conquering uncharted territory here right completely I mean for you especially since you haven't been a hardware company but how does it feel for you to try to conquer uncharted territory and we have to be one of the only if you can companies that's doing that so there's there's two things related to answer that that's where she first of all when we decided to go on a veer 180 there was a bit of a bet for us a gamble because we didn't know whether it's it's this trend will hold we will succeed so yes we knew we wanted it a new field to conquer as you call it and we thought that that can that works very well with our strategy of 3d and its new field maybe less competition it's a good place to play however you don't know whether it will work you don't know well we've an interesting to many many people so so when when we do we decided to do that a yes at that time were was only one or two players and and still not too many players but what happened in 360 is actually quite the opposite in that time a year ago a year and a half ago there were at least forty to forty five players in the market everybody her mother hated physics relatively the barrier the end the entry barrier to this market is not so high so if you have some capabilities of software of hardware development understanding of optics you can introduce something into the market to me the key thing is to introduce a good thing to the market and to win market share and within time because of the fierce competition back in 2016 and 17 a the number of players actually actually reduced so but we do expect that the the players that are still playing there in the market will introduce more cameras and will were you know fighting for a larger market share and with the VR one idea we think and we actually know there will be more players in the market so it's always a very very competitive landscape that we are dealing with and and you need to deal with that so yeah very very exciting to try to compete in this new field yes so now Shahar now we have talked a lot about your cameras but now I want to know more about youth how does the most boring part this is exciting I think so how does one become the CEO of of humanized technologies okay so first of all actually my background is in printing I'm a printer well I used to own a printing house in Jerusalem okay it was a large business of printing and and how the hell a guy of handling everything is finding himself CEO of consumer electronics how did he make it one mr TV I think we had a hint at the at the beginning of this discussion telling the history of humanized right which is now also part of my history because I've been working for humanized for 10 years already but only four years as its CEO so when I when I worked for the company has its CEO oh I was mostly in charge of the the printing part of it logistic the business development etcetera because of my background in printing but but so so you know the high tech industry is very very dynamic you have to deal with dynamic changes if you hate changes you're in the wrong place if and and for me I embrace changes I embrace dynamic places what scares me most is that I know 20 years from now that I'll do the same thing right but nothing scares me more than the right so I like that and when when when mr. Landau mr. penny londa asked me to let's think of the next step a humanized actually I enjoyed the idea of not having a solution for the graphic arts that it's a good time after maybe 15 years in this industry to find a different industry not only the graphic arts a all the time so I obviously I was out of my comfort zone completely luckily I'm surrounded by great people that can compensate of my lack of knowledge in hardware for example sitting here at the MWC with us talking with people here and allowing allowing us as the company to enjoy the different knowledge 'as of the of the group from hardware to software to business side it's a tie so I found myself in this in this industry Wow very cool so where you already CEO when you introduce the idea of we make me hardware now so as I said the the the the startup industry in Israel is very very dynamic so very strong humanized is already the fifth company that have been working with you for two companies a CEO and two other companies as VP of business development and sales and something for business that so so actually human eyes is is already the third companies that I'm working as its CEO and I'm hoping that this one will be a major assist and it looks very very good so far ok so at the time when your company made the shift to hot to make me hard work at the time were you all ready to see it yes yes in a way you can say that there is the company and until 2015 right and from 2015 and on because country completely changed its identity right its market its products and and I as I said I was asked by the Board of Directors to to choose that and so I feel in a ways this if you will we call it humanized VR not just humanized the human eyes VR section as its its founder so so now we all want to know more about the challenges that you had to overcome from being a software company to becoming now a hardware manufacturer and this is so excited this is so interesting hardware is very hard like I spoke with so many people in the industry later I'm going to speak with the vial guys from Finland who make this new headset right it's tough whenever I speak with hardware manufacturers it's tough to make these things it's so expensive to come up with the molding everything everything is expensive right and it's like a huge risk to make these things because it's not like you would have like a big software model of selling setting up some software like oculus has it but like like you for example you have to make money with a hardware right so so tell us how how did you manage to make hardware suddenly I mean the unique experience you had to by the people who know the stuff or you had to already tell us about this park' so what was required is very very in one simple sentence which was not simple to do is changed the DNA of the company right because yes you're right software is so different because it's you can change it you can fix things you can upgrade things and everything with hardware processes are so much slower if you make mistakes with hardware's the it's extremely expensive and you need to redo things and go back again to the design board and then you lose in in every case like that you you can lose up to sometimes even years or six months or seven months so what we had to do and and that time I did I didn't really understand that yes hardware okay we will change the camera yeah the circuit okay will change no that's what I did understand is that I don't understand anything about it and and what we did is we took a great team led by our CEO Oni who's joined the company back in 2016 he has a vast experience of hardware design and development and what one is said was in interesting things he said since we're an Israeli company we will not manufacture it most likely even though we considered to do that in Israel but we found out that it would be too expensive and probably not as good when you when you make manufactures such a product itself not only in Israel but also in Germany which it's not the right place to manufacture these type of products and not in the US it's it's only in Asia so what one is that since we are not going to actually do the manufacturing we need to build a very very strong supply chain you want to build a very strong supply chain you need to have a very strong team not necessarily too big but a very very strong team that can do a lot a lot and so so we took five we have five guys only five guys in this team that is managing our supply chain all over the world and I can share with you a little secret here I'm sure that you will not tell to anyone no don't tell just between you and me we are manufacturing this little a small device of the views XR in five countries actually five countries are contributing to this so it's not as if we are just Israel in China there is there is software I will not say where everywhere but there is software there is application there is a the NPI the new product introduction process that you were doing when you design such a product and then there is actual manufacturing so yes manufacturing is not a secret it's being manufactured in China but in the process the firmware the application the NPI and obviously Israel is one of them it is is being planned in another four countries outside of Israel in China another three outside of Israel in China so only when we realized that we we need to leverage on capabilities on existing technologies and existing supply chains on and know how we don't need to invent the wheel for for a hardware product we don't need to invent everything right so for example lenses you need to go and find a very good player in this market that will know to build and design a lens according to the specs that we need and same goes on and on and on to every part of the cameras so though a strong strong team with with the capabilities of handling of a lot of technology is an industry from electronics to optics a lot of know-how in this small team and they can leverage their knowledge and manage all those supply chain all the partners that are helping us produce this amazing product very interesting still I'm wondering tell us a bit more how did the first meeting look like when the first meeting of building the first views it must be so interesting how many people were in the room and then how did it look like okay we're making this camera now what to do tell us a bit more so if you can remember oh definitely you know I will I will start with the design because we had something in mind okay and we went to this and we did not have how no how it would look we knew that we wanted it small we knew that we wanted it stir scopic and we knew that wanted it's a full spherical capturing that's all and we thought probably it will be a ball like Aquino Kia a rose or like all other VR cameras that are now and so we started this a design company and then they they took some time and then we went to the first meeting around the table and they came with one slide and they showed us the camera they actually they showed us an apple a square Apple really enough really can you imagine I had Apple but it is a bit squarish not completely square with squarish and edges and that that was that was what they thought about it when they thought about the first views camera and then they clicked on next the next slide and we looked at the views coming first time it was a yellow a views camera and we looked at it and was silence in the room very very very same similar to disc actually this camera but obviously we from the first version you have to continue on and find unit but when we looked at it was a silence in the room we were shocked and then and then I said yes this is what we want to do we want this they hit it right in the point right where we wanted it and they are still working with them they also did the views XR and it's time to say their name it's a Targa a very good industrial design a company in Tel Aviv so they deserve the credit so but then okay the design is nice with all due respect to design you need to have the guts of the camera they are doing and this is what we are a struggled we started taking all the all those consultant and everything until we built our own team that is capable of doing that finding the right manufacturer that is willing to take that and support us with the building that that so interesting yeah it must be very exciting to see the progress from sitting in that first meeting with the design camera with a design company and then like a sitting here with the call axe and selling them to the world must be good feeling right you know maybe it's a bit stupid on Maya and my end but I was so excited when I saw the first circuit of the camera shaped by the shape of the camera it's not just a regular circular screen because we had to use the maximum form of the phone factor so this circuit the electronic board of the camera was had to use this the entire shape of the camera so it looks exactly the same thing and when it was ready with all the components with all the you know the DSPs and the memory there's two or together I was so excited about that and when it's actually really worked so when I spoke with other potential partners of this is the this is the electrical board just proud to show you this electrical board because it is so unique and so special but maybe it's a good time we have a little room of the museum of the views a camera the museum the museum be nice so because at the beginning we had to work on the software or the stitching and everything but we do not have a camera so how do you develop a software if you don't have a camera so what do you do you buy cameras and you place them together at the same distance and this is how you do that so we have a bunch we thought maybe 16 cameras then 12 then we saw okay if we want to really make it affordable then it must be the minimum number of lenses and we realize in order to create real 3d it must be at least eight cameras we cannot go down to six or four for various reason again I will not borrow the your listeners with that so we built a lot of rigs with regular cameras that we bought similar resolution and created those manually and in order to be left and then the next phase was to connect our own camera module to this circuit board and put it in the form factor that we wanted very nice now can you still remember the day when the first views camera was completely finished in the retail box everything and you saw that oh absolutely there is two days that I remember the first one once we agreed on what would be the final design we did a 3d printed views because when you see it in slides it's nice but once we managed to build one time obviously it looks ugly a little bit you know it's a 3d printing output but it was blue I remember we and the first time that you see the camera staring at you look at that now I'm putting the camera looking at you right it is actually has has a look right it's looking at you so the first time I saw that was a very very excited but yes I agree with you going into the manufacturing facility and saying not actually not only one is seeing the first cameras after the shrink machine which is the last machine putting into some plastic around it it is very very exciting going into the boxes well at that time thousands of thousands of people have been waiting for the camera for months because of the delay and there were patients enough to get the camera so from that meeting with the design company where he said this until this really came out in this retail boxes how much time was between those two days so that was the design was it late 2015 finished and we thought that it will take us 11 months to complete the development the this is the reason why we promised the customers on October 2010 and we also wanted you know q4a I thought that can be a nice gift at that time but as I said already we managed to release it only in March 2007 late March 2017 so from the time we of let's say of October 2015 until until so only a year and a half so relatively company will out a lot of experience in that we worked extremely hard at that time extremely uh there was a lot of pressure but one thing I can say I'm enjoying also the road not only the goal of to succeed and then make a difference and become a major player but also enjoying the road it's a I think it's important for everything not for cameras not for work if you're enjoying what you're doing then you can do it better and longer cool so now I would like to talk a bit more about financing such such doing such hard work so is it like you you simply had the funds because it's not a startup company anymore humanized no no race we were still a startup company back in 2012 and 13 14 15 or they were still a startup company but we were very privileged and fortunate to have land adventures as our major shareholder owned by mr. Bennett Landa been ananda is one of the top entrepreneurs in in israel as I said building indigo and known as the father of digital printing in the world everybody in the printing industry everybody know knows whose mr. Honda and he was here's a vision he in many cases he he supports products that are sometimes too early or premature so he was helping us and was patience enough until we we were able to improve things until we were able to release the second camera and the third camera and supporting us so in a way we were privileged enough I did not have to chase every every six months for another round of investment so we had to the only thing I had to do is to get mr. Landers on board convince him that this is a good idea and we were lucky enough to get that so fundraising is uh was a relatively easy thing I must I must say that it is we knew that from the beginning that it is expensive to develop these type of products and it's not so simple but we were supported by mr. land about that that's amazing to hear because very often it's not so easy to find funding and you have to yeah run after it and spend lots of your time and energy on trying to get the funding right so this part was not so tough and it was probably tough as well but you had this great support from his visionary absolutely and I and I know you know we we became friends in this industry so I know other CEOs are the founders of other cameras in the market a at least as good as the views camera a but the only thing that did not have is the right funding and you need for small start-up you need to have a right time so you can either see large companies playing in this market where they don't have a funding issue or startup that over managed to raise a lot of money in it and the small unfortunately the small companies that had the great cameras or a great products they simply could not raise enough money and they had to shut down this is what happened in the last 18 months so from 45 players that I mentioned before back in 2016-17 you can I think find less than 20 that are a viable in the market and a and actually less than 10 that are leading leading the market this is challenging this is definitely a big challenge so that brings us to the last section of our interview we would like I would like to talk with you about your take on the VR industry and so it would be great if you if you could share with us your thoughts offer where the industry is right now what are the challenges and until when do we have to wait until this really becomes mass market and everyone and their mothers I buy your camera right so when I was back in 2015 when there was the big hype after the acquisition of oculus and after a so many companies enter that was you know Samsung and reco and other companies were leading leading that process we a they are we I remember wish to say in 2015 2016 this is the year of the mass adoption of VR right in 2016 2017 is definitely for sure the mass adoption of the VR in 2017 we I think the entire industry realized that it's going to take more time and they said in 2018 there will be an improvement you know you cheat ready player one is coming out yeah but now improvement not no we're no longer talking about mass adoption in 2018 but yes what we see is while it takes longer there is a very steady and clear progress so no not maybe not four hundred percent every year of the hockey stick yes not a hockey stick yet but definitely increasing by heid double-digit numbers every year and the number of players are reducing alright so it's a good thing not necessarily it depends for whom yeah but if you're if you have enough bread to survive that then definitely for the companies that have enough resources it's a good it's good news so the minute mass adoption will take place only when the entire ecosystem is ready if one part of the ecosystem is missing it will not be a good enough so so for example we mentioned on the capturing things there is a framerate resolution speed high high quality stitching high quality stabilization everything it is 70% down the road I would say because our feeling is that once all cameras will be around 8k and obviously good stitching and high-quality images capturing will no longer be a limitation but that's not enough we also need to make sure that our friends from the viewing devices will also be able to show and run a good good content the distribution channels that I mentioned rather than killing the quality of the videos they need actually to embrace it and support it the maximum bitrate and maximum resolution it also help but simplicity is another thing that goes back to the content creators which rather than being only BBC CNN and you guys but also John Smith from Alabama remember him it has to be extremely simple also for him and it's almost it's getting there simple and high-quality of the entire ecosystem I would find I would probably be stupid of me to say 2020 is the year after all the history that I said but yes we're hoping that 2019 and 2020 would be a major change bear in mind we are in the Mobile World Congress now every other word here is archived you can't say anything without it good morning five g5j good night you know it's only about 5g here yes 5g is is a major player here because remember we spoke about sharing the content and everything it will reside in the cloud it will be easy to handle that rather than taking it into memories and computers and everything everything is in the cloud you are able to to edit the content to create the content in the cloud and share it easily the high quality in high speed in real time that definitely can be a major step forward towards the mass adoption that makes so much sense so in your opinion it's the sharing at this moment time which is not still yet there yet right sharing is one of the biggest limiter is abuse and ensuring I don't think that the capturing devices and the viewing devices aren't they used to be the major block for mass adoption but you see you see the music's are you see our competitors doing a great job in making things simply in high quality videos the ability to create the content is no longer huge limitations but yes sharing and the entire ecosystem is is a limitation right now for that so 2020 we've heard it from Johar 2020 is the time so probably in 2020 I'm gonna sit here at Mobile World Congress with you again and then we have another target see if actually it became reality one thing I can tell you it will be a bigger market we can call together John Smith from Alabama it is a deal did you buy a 360 camera if he says no then I lost in two years you're going to randomly call the John Smith in Alabama and see what happened I must say so excuse for all John Smith from Alabama right now watching this monetize in advance jihad this has been an amazing talk so much insight into what you do with the cameras so much knowledge about the industry I can just stay sing thank you so much for joining this thank you very very much it was that's it it was a pleasure talking with you always thank you yeah so I really enjoyed this talk I hope that you enjoyed it as well as much as we did you enjoyed it quite a lot I doubt that the head its move our world congress and well i'll be very happy if you also join me for the next episode of the people in clinics our podcast em of course if you like this why don't you leave a review at your podcast provider of choice and that's everything that i got for you today see you in the next episode

People In XR – Episode 9 – Shahar Bin-Nun – CEO Humaneyes Technologies (Vuze VR Cameras)

4 thoughts on “People In XR – Episode 9 – Shahar Bin-Nun – CEO Humaneyes Technologies (Vuze VR Cameras)”

  1. Great interview. Shahar seems like a really decent man. Also nice to get some insight into VR video delivery platforms and their current limitations. YouTube cannot at present even deliver full 8K content without compromise. Still, really excited for the Vuze XR 8K, maybe end of 2019?

  2. Shahar may actually be my favorite person from People in XR so far. He has the geeky and genuine feel to him, as well as giving an insight into something I have not given much thought at all. Thank you for doing this Sebastian!

  3. Nice cameras. Its gonna be hard for this company to succeed as there are many other bigger companies making 360 cameras. But the price is quite good so there is a market for those cameras.

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