By Ryan Petranovich
We are pleased to announce our investment in Pixvana, a rapidly growing augmented reality / virtual reality (AR/VR) technology startup that provides VR content platforms and creators with the tools they need to create and deliver high-quality next-gen video experiences.
Cisco Investments has funded hundreds of companies across different technology segments over the last twenty years. Although it is early for AR/VR, we believe AR/VR technologies will revolutionize multiple technologies that are core to Cisco, particularly those that involve video. From Cisco’s networking infrastructure, which delivers video content around the globe, to our service provider video cloud technologies that power efficient and secure delivery of television content, and our enterprise collaboration products built on video communication, Cisco maintains a deep position in video. Alongside internal AR/VR innovation projects such as Cisco Spark for VR, we will continue to partner with leading forward-thinking startups, a key to our innovation strategy.
The Challenge of Delivering Quality Experiences
We believe VR will gain mainstream adoption when we see an intersection in the advancements of a few core technologies. These include VR head-mounted displays (HMDs), cameras, software tools and content. While we see many of the large technology players making advancements in HMDs and cameras and creative VR studios developing compelling new content, there is still a large gap in the software tools needed to deliver compelling experiences at scale. Pixvana seeks to fill this gap with an end-to-end VR video content platform that will rapidly accelerate the development of VR content and give viewers the level of quality they expect.
Some of the major challenges to delivering high-quality VR experiences are due to the size of VR content files. Pixvana’s platform offers creative solutions to two file-size-oriented video problems – efficient content streaming and content rendering. When it comes to content rendering, Pixvana’s SPIN Studio platform complements its VR-first creation tools with a cloud-based rendering pipeline that allows content creators to finish their VR videos as quickly as they need to. Once the video is ready to be shared, Pixvana’s patented FOVAS (field of view adaptive streaming) technology uses the VR viewer’s gaze information to intelligently stream key information in high resolution while saving bandwidth by de-prioritizing delivery of the rest of the video.
Our Dream Team
A true dream team of video content creation and delivery experts will bring it all together (co-founders Forest Key, Bill Hensler, Scot Squires and Sean Safreed). Pixvana is a powerful new entrant into one of the most transformational technology trends, and together, Cisco and Pixvana will pave the way for VR-based experiences. We are thrilled to be part of this journey!
About the author: Ryan Petranovich joined Cisco Corporate Development in 2015 to focus on investments and acquisitions relating to Cisco’s portfolio of Collaboration products and initiatives. Prior to Cisco, Ryan was part of the strategy team at Medallia, a customer experience management firm with headquarters in Palo Alto, and before that gained experience on a quantitative strategy and valuation consulting team at Duff & Phelps.