CNN.com surprised a week ago with a record level of traffic during election day. 27 million unique users flocked to CNN on November 4th, driving 276 million page views (!), five times the regular traffic volume. One of the drivers, was CNN’s introduction of Deep Space Nine -like hologram interviews. Anderson Cooper would be sitting in the studio, talking to the virtual image of a CNN reporter in the field.
What most people don’t know is that behind the scenes of this technology is an Israeli company called SportVu. Combined with the technology of partner Vizrt, the two bring to the viewer a full-color 3D representation of a remote correspondent, enabling a face to face conversation.
Normally, Sportvu focuses on providing digital services for sporting events that can instantly display statistical performance data through automatic analysis and semantic extraction. Other features include showing tactical (“radar”) views of the players’ deployment on the field and the ability to provide a live graphical presentation of the event over the web, on a gaming console, or a mobile handset.
SportVu was founded 3 years ago by Dr. Miky Tamir and it is founded by private investors and the SkyWalker fund. According to The Marker, the idea for developing the hologram was brought up by the VP of R&D Gal Oz and CTO Daniel Shor.
Led by CEO Shimon Katzubes, SportVu has a headcount of 15 and is currently breaking even with product sales focused mainly on sporting events. Another Israeli company in the field is Orad, which provides a variety of broadcasting graphic solutions.