With a mission of expanding reality through value-creating applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality Khora was established in 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Combining a storefront, educational platform, and production space, Khora aims to integrate people of all ages and walks of life who share a common interest in this emerging technology. We’ve interviewed the Dynamic CEO and President of the prestigious company, Simon Lajboschitz about the glorious and successful journey throughout:
Q: Brief us about your company.
A: Khora is a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content production studio headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Khora’s core purpose is Expanding Reality through value-creating applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality.
In three years of activity, the team has produced over 150 VR & AR applications; organized 700 workshops for organizations that wanted to learn more about the technology; and introduced more than 25.000 people to the tech. The company serves several industries in areas of education, healthcare, art, marketing, energy, tourism, and contemporary art. The majority of these are seeking for stunning immersive visualization and simulation solutions that can help solve multiple challenges.
Khora has now become the go-to company for VR and AR in Denmark.
“With every production we are searching for value creating applications. The only way our business will grow is by creating content that solves a problem or serves a purpose”, touts Simon Lajboschitz, co-founder and CEO of Khora.
Q: Tell us something about the Founder/CEO.
A: Simon Lajboschitz was in New York when he first came into contact with the medium. ‘Clouds over Sidra’ was a mini VR documentary that took him into the life of a Syrian refugee girl and made him see the engrossing and creative potential of the technology. After being 7 years in the retail industry, when he returned to Denmark, he got involved in a small VR & AR Meetup group, through which he met his partner, Peter Fisher. At the time, Peter was one of the few passionate developers consistently developing VR applications and both started to further tinker with the tech, developing the first Danish VR game for the Samsung Gear VR – Cityscape Repairman. In December 2015 they both decided to open Khora and inspire people about the multiple possibilities within immersive tech.
Q: What is the present scenario of AR/VR Solution industry?
A: Both technologies are becoming more mature both from a technical and market implementation point of view. The development of hardware, especially in the standalone VR category, has contributed to the decrease of certain entry barriers for many organizations, and we are starting to see different solutions gaining a lot of traction, especially within the Healthcare, Marketing, Training and Simulation sectors. The value proposition in these areas is quite strong and people are starting to expect to see VR and AR solutions within these industries as a standard. For example, Khora has been working with Danish museums to create more immersive experiences for the visitors. The Maritime Museum of Denmark is featuring a VR experience produced by Khora that invites visitors to explore the historic creation of the museum and visualize the transformation from dry dock to the architectural pearl that the museum has become today. One of the guests had this to say about the experience,
“I loved it, I loved the VR thing. Because I think it helps to visualize the entire building, how it was used. Sometimes in museums you just read a brochure, it’s a bit hard to visualize. But this really helps. To see where the ships used to dock, and what it took to build the museum.”
Q: What are the Products/services/solutions that make your company unique in the market?
A: Khora’s ability to understand the client’s need, while not focusing only on the technology, makes the client more involved in the process and secure about starting a pilot project. When the focus is set on generating value for the client, successful projects are often created that makes clients return to work on other projects. The best of example of which, is a collaboration that Khora has made with Holm Kommunikation, a Danish communication agency, where they worked together on a behavior change campaign for the Danish Safety Agency. For this campaign, the client wanted to diminish the number of injured people on New Year’s Eve due to the unsafe launch of fireworks, so Khora produced a simulation of such a dire event getting a rocket in people’s faces. As realistic the VR experience was, distribution was still a challenge and the message had to be delivered to as many people as possible. For this effect, a set of reaction videos were filmed, where multiple famous Danish personalities tried the experience in the headsets and the videos were displayed across multiple channels and went viral. They were viewed almost 1 million times, the campaign won two European Communication Awards and on that New Year period the number of injured people fell by 4,9%. Next year Khora and Holm Komunikation worked on a sequel to the campaign.
Q: With the introduction of newer technologies like AI, IoT, and vast improvement in wireless technologies & telecom infrastructure, what are the scopes and challenges coming with it?
A: When 5G, XR, AI and IoT become mature and massively widespread, we will be living in a world where our virtual world will be able to sense the physical world and adapt itself to it as mankind wants. The Internet will become a 3D physical space, where people will be able to step into and have any sort of experience they want. Simon calls this a ‘Blurred Reality’ state, where people will be able to shift through realities as they deem fit, no matter where they are. In this future, multiple processes within the physical world will be automated, thus making certain skilled know-how of today obsolete. “In the future, a 9 year old with a pair of XR glasses will be able to repair an engine of a car with the help of its AI assistant” touts Lajboschitz. He also recognizes that probably the biggest challenge will be educating future children the right skill set in order to be prepared for this future.
Q: What can be expected from your company in near future?
A: The potential for the use of immersive technologies within the healthcare market is big, especially when it comes to mental health. After the successful development of a Pain Distraction tool for children together with the Pediatric Pain Knowledge Center at the General Hospital in Copenhagen, Khora is planning to transform the project into a product and scale it to multiple markets. This is the first step towards Simon’s bigger vision for the technology of spinning out new subsidiary companies focused on Virtual Reality within Healthcare. “This is a super interesting area and we believe some of these products will help thousands of patients across the world”, says Lajboschitz. Nonetheless, these virtual explorers will keep looking for new applications for the technology in multiple markets, pushing the boundaries of the possibilities of the medium while walking towards the ‘Blurred Reality’.