We went to watch Manchester United play during a lunch break […] During the match Aviv said he would like to see the game from the perspective of the ball, and we started making sketches and tossing around ideas.” — Oren Yogev, Ha’aretz
Join OurCrowd for a live demo of Replay Technologies at the company offices in Tel Aviv on November 2nd, 2015, at 6:00PM — RSVP here.
Oren Yogev, CEO and co-founder of Replay Technologies, OurCrowd’s latest investment opportunity, is reinventing the sports-viewing experience with Free-Dimensional Video. freeD is a video format that gives sports fans a dynamic 360 degree, 3D viewing experience of their favorite professional sporting events.
A Technion-trained physicist and electro-optical engineer with a deep background in high-end military technologies, Oren has spent more than a decade working on laser guidance systems, drone manufacturing, and video recognition platforms.
OurCrowd Investment Analyst Avi Lozowick recently interviewed Oren about Replay Technologies’ revolutionary free-dimensional video technology, and the transition of military technologies and innovations to commercial use and civilian applications in general.
3D-ing the playing field: Q&A with Oren Yogev
Avi Lozowick: So how did Replay get started– what was your ‘kick-off’ moment?
Oren Yogev: The ‘kick off’ moment was post the successful experiment results of our prototyped volumetric video capture we did during the Olympics training camp in Q4 2011. Post that experiment we got an MOU from the International Olympic Committee reflecting their interest in using our services during the 2012 Olympic games.
Avi: You’ve worked on military drones in the past, among other defense projects. What led you to go from a military background to video technology? Is there a connection?
Oren: The connection is clear. During my extensive career years before Replay – I was involved mainly in Aerospace and defense projects, which delivered high-end imagery and video solutions. The operational mode of getting an extensive and remote viewing experience on satellites and drones planted the seeds of the vision to create a unique and remote viewing experience for sports and media applications.
Avi: What was the most difficult technological challenge you needed to solve in order to get Replay to where it is today?
Oren: The ability to reconstruct multiple figures in dense environments and outdoor conditions in almost real-time made the breakthrough for us to operate and implement our products into team sports, which are most popular and valuable to consumers as premium content.
Avi: What was it like working with major league stadiums who use FreeD?
Oren: The experience mostly is great. The ecosystem in the sports industry is result driven, no time for losers. Things are moving fast and the relevant stakeholders work as a team to generate value to their audiences. Once you are on board the sky is the limit.
Avi: How do you think people will watch sports in five years?
Oren: Watching television in a traditional lean-back manner is no longer applicable in today’s digital world where consumers crave constant interaction with their favorite games, content, and TV shows. The internet and portable screen devices have turned consumers into lean-forward viewers, who require interactivity and fun to remain invested in a program. Consumers will be less interested in a simple television watching experience, but interacting at the highest level.
In five years from now cord cutting platforms will be a substantial viewing preference for sports. Thank (or blame..) the Millennials. Most of them aren’t cord cutters, they’re cord ‘never’s… They’re used to consuming all of their entertainment online and don’t care about any stations they may have been missing. As this group becomes the next wave of big earners in 2020 and beyond, media companies want to make sure they’re giving them plenty of options to spend their money on premium content like sports. This is where freeD can play a major role.
Avi: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs about going from an idea to successful execution?
Oren: Work hard. Enjoy it. Be nice. Play fair. Delegate. Dream to leave something big behind you. We only get a few chances in this lifetime. If you’re going to play this game, make sure you play it to win.