Tour de France fans get special tour in Augmented Reality. Non-contractual photo credit: Immersiv.io

MATSUKO, the creator of the first software-only solution for holographic presence, in cooperation with the multinational telecommunications company, Orange, announced today that they have produced a hologram of Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme speaking to fans in augmented reality. The Director will appear in 3D on fans’ augmented reality glasses along with a 3D map of the race and key information for each stage.

An exceptionally popular event, the Tour de France is the world-recognized symbol of European natural and cultural heritage, and a brilliant showcase of technological expertise. Tour de France partner for more than 20 years, Orange, has revealed the technology that will be providing for this year’s event. The company will be offering a new “Augmented Race 2022” experiment that will start in villages and fan parks, developed in collaboration with the startups Immersiv.io and MATSUKO.

MATSUKO’s solution is not an animated avatar but a fully expressive hologram. Using mixed and augmented reality and artificial intelligence, MATSUKO creates 3D holograms for remote communication between people. This eliminates the problems often encountered on video calls: lack of non-verbal cues, lack of engagement, and missing special feeling. “If these past two years have shown us anything, it is that as humans we need each other’s presence. And even though we have come a long way with remote communication, today’s tools are still way too distant,” said Maria Vircikova, co-founder and CEO of MATSUKO. “Our brain is wired for the third dimension, and we need a sensation of people physically being there. Today we’re excited to announce the debut of MATSUKO’s technology at the Tour de France.”

MATSUKO’s app has been developed for VR and mixed reality, but the company wanted to impact more people. With that in mind, in March 2022 at SXSW, it launched the MATSUKO app for the iPhone experience. As a result, everyone can now experience real volumetric holograms with just a smartphone. Hundreds of millions of people can now connect with millions of headset owners, all with the same MATSUKO app. MATSUKO won the SXSW 2022 award in Extended Reality & Immersive Technology.