Tech Profile: Condition One

Tarah Benner
Tarah Benner



Condition-OneWhat is Condition One, and how did you and your team get started in this field?

Condition One is an immersive video software company. Our technology combines the power of the still image, the narrative of film and the engagement of tactile controls to evoke the powerful emotional experience of “being there.” Our software gives people the ability to control their viewpoint as they watch a video.

Condition One was started by Danfung Dennius and Takaaki Okada in October 2010. Danfung started his career covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a photojournalist. His images were published in Newsweek, Time and the The New York Times. Though the images he shot were powerful, they did not have the impact he had envisioned, so he moved into video. Over the course of several years, he shot and directed his documentary “Hell and Back Again,” which was nominated for an Academy Award (2012) and won the World Cinema Jury and Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. But still, he felt his videos did not have enough of an impact. Condition One was born from an effort to create a more immersive video experience — one where viewers feel like they are transported into the video and have control of their viewpoint.

Condition-One-Immersive-VideoWhat trends and changes in the market led you to realize that Condition One would fill a void? In other words, what makes Condition One’s product different from other immersive video technology?

It has been clear in the past few years that people want and demand interactivity from all types of digital content. Video, in its current format, has existed for many decades with little innovation. Viewers have become numb to the format. Condition One pushes boundaries of how people experience video: interactively, on a variety of devices/formats, ultra high definition (2.7K+) and easily produced. Condition One is different than other immersive video technologies because we’ve approached the challenge using only software. Other technologies employ multiple cameras mounted on a dome with the footage stitched together. Our solution leverages existing cameras like video-enabled DSLRs, RED cameras and GoPro cameras using wide angle lenses to capture a 180-degree dome of footage. Our software then virtually projects that video into a dome, melting away the distortion and creating an immersive video environment for the viewer to explore.

How should the marketing/advertising industry utilize Condition One’s technology to create more engaging, immersive video experiences for its clients?

We see our solution as a storytelling device, which is the core of any successful marketing/advertising campaign. We empower brands and agencies to create interesting and immersive stories using our highly engaging technology. The best stories told through Condition One are first-person experiences where viewers experience what it is like to “be there.” Examples of this include first-person narratives from current customers, branded entertainment stories with product integrations, interactive travel/destination walk-throughs, live-streamed fashion shows, educational kids’ videos and much more.

Tell us about some of the most innovative marketing applications for immersive video technology you’ve seen.

We have yet to see truly groundbreaking applications of immersive video that actually leverage the transformative power of the medium. Many interactive video campaigns will port existing flat video concepts into a digital medium, much like early television was simply video-recorded radio shows. The early breakout immersive video campaigns will take cues from first-person gaming to build user-controlled multi-perspective campaigns.

How is Condition One adapting its solution to work in conjunction with other technology (e.g. 3D, motion sensing).

Our hardware-agnostic approach means that we plan to integrate with any new technology that is released. We are actively working with capture, display and control device manufacturers to make sure Condition One can empower content development for those devices.

How do you see immersive video evolving in the next three years?

We see immersive video evolving with the innovative devices being developed for consuming video such as the Oculus Rift and gesture devices such as the LeapMotion device. Currently, we’re optimized for mobile/tablet devices and the web because those platforms have wide distribution. We plan to evolve our software to adapt to those new devices as they emerge.

Andrew-ChangAs COO, Andrew Chang oversees the business side of Condition One. Previously, he was an associate at TechStars for the spring 2012 program. He also managed Kantar Video’s “delivery team,” including the platform, operations and engineering departments. Andrew has years of experience managing innovation in research, analytics and digital media.

Prior to Kantar Video, Andrew led the consumer insights and research division at the digital marketing agency 360i. There, he managed a multi-tiered team on digital consultancy projects for the agency’s largest clients. He has also been very active working with startups, serving as strategic advisor for DashMob and Looxii. He also co-founded Rogue Media, a media company focused on developing and operating digital properties. Follow him on Twitter @DigitalDrex or on LinkedIn.

Andrew received his MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a BS from Boston College.

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