Van Nuys company VNTANA can turn you into a hologram

Jory Rand Image
Monday, October 1, 2018
You can play tennis against a holographic Roger Federer or swim with a virtual shark under the technology developed by Van Nuys-based VNTANA.

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For the longest time, holograms were the stuff of the future.

In fact, one giant hologram made a memorable cameo in the film "Back to the Future II" in the form of a shark diving off a screen.

Well, no time machine is needed here -- the future is now in Van Nuys.

"It was what we wanted to do, so we built a company around it," said Ashley Crowder, co-founder of VNTANA, a Van Nuys-based hologram company.

The USC graduate helped make the company's first hologram back in 2013 for DJ Aoki and Nicky Romero, allowing them to perform in different places at the same time.

They have since become what they say is the world's only interactive hologram company.

Their holograms come in life-size form, or they can turn you into a hologram in a smaller format, in which you can do things like serve a tennis ball to Roger Federer or become the Marvel hero Dr. Strange.

VNTANA has units around Los Angeles in places like Dodger Stadium and Staples Center, and around the country at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and ComicCon.

"It's definitely surprise and delight," Crowder says. "Kids think it's magic, which is awesome. Adults kind of start acting like a kid."

And while you may have seen holograms bring dead celebrities back to life on stage, "We tend to avoid doing dead people," Crowder says. "That's one great use case. We see way more utility around brands and connecting with consumers and clients and tracking data."

And companies are lining up to get their products into holographic form, and the future seems limitless.

"We're starting to see other use cases like health care," Crowder says. "Demonstrating how a drug interaction works in 3D. Or architecture. So you could actually see a building before it's built."