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Interview with eyeQoala: A Spanish 3D Videoconferencing Start-up

August 4, 2012 | William Zimmerman

By Nacho Florez, Conferencing

eyeQoala is a Spanish start-up looking for solutions to everyday problems using 3D technologies. Currently, Rafael Pages and his team are developing their first product, Qonnect. This was awarded Best Project Sponsored by Students in the eighth actuaUPM in 2011 (Business Creation Competition at the Polytechnic University of Madrid or UPM). The project's goal is to create a system to make calls or perform video conferencing in 3D without having a special computer, smartphone or tablet screen.

In order to learn more about the business, Opinno decided to go directly to the source of the idea. With that, we interviewed Rafael Pages, one of the young innovators who make up the esyQoala team.

Opinno: How did the idea for this project come about?

Rafael Pages (R.P.): While finishing our thesis projects, my partners and I met at the Image Manipulation Group at the Polytechnic University. When we finished our respective projects, we decided continue our research in 3D graphics. This corresponded with the launch of the Kinect, a revolutionary product for the Xbox. Thanks to this innovative peripheral, people can do many things that were previously impossible. Our goal was to use the hardware to create something innovative while achieving realistic video calls.

However, by chance, it gave us the opportunity to enter into a contest at the university for the creation of new businesses called actuaUPM. At first, we didn't even think about presenting the idea, but in the end we decided to... and won!

Opinno: Where are your investigations focused in respect to Qonnect?

R.P.: We are developing algorithms that estimate volume, drive artificial vision and 3D graphics.

Opinno: How are you developing the idea as a business?

R.P.: We were lucky to be put in contact with Next Limit, a Spanish business dedicated to fluid and light simulations. They helped us to focus on our strong points in order to develop a competitive product.

atuaUPM's second phase was to present a business plan and we quickly fixed ourselves on that. All of our profiles are as techies, and to create this plan, we had to learn how to do it. When we began we didn't know much, but we received help from UPM's Business Creation Program. There, through a few courses, we learned how to put together a marketing plan, perform a marketing analysis, received legal advice, etc... And from that moment, we began to explore and find out what kind of customer would be interested in our product.

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