Earlier this year, MDM visited the Santa Monica offices of VNTANA. Tucked away in the rear parking lot of a multiuse space near Bergamot Station, VNTANA enables immersive, multilocation live experiences through high-definition, real-time hologram technology.
I first encountered VNTANA at TedX Venice Beach’s “think small” event on February 22, 2015, where the cofounder, Ashley Crowder, demonstrated the streamlined hardware and inventive software that powers VNTANA. She explained that as a music lover, she first had the idea for VNTANA when she and some friends went out to the Coachella Music Festival during college. A number of her friends could not afford the pricey tickets to attend the live show, and instead contented themselves by watching the streaming content online with headphones—a distant second best to the exhilarating live show experience.
What if we could project the musicians and artists onto a second stage in a remote location to simultaneously perform for a live audience there as well? Crowder, a USC grad with a B.S. in Industrial Systems Engineering and an M.S. in Engineering Management, went to work.