HBO and Discovery Communications have become part owners in Otoy, a special effects start-up that is working with Jon Stewart on his new HBO programming.
Stewart called Otoy “unbelievable” and “mind-blowing” in a statement. “My dream is to someday understand how they did it!!!” he said.
The investment will fuel Otoy’s development of original holographic content, the companies said. HBO and Discovery plan to use the hologram capabilities to “deliver new entertainment experiences to consumers across TV, mobile, web, social and emerging wearable technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.”
In November, Stewart signed a four-year deal with HBO to create digital short-form content for its online platforms like HBO Go and HBO Now.
Otoy is best known for its LightStage facial-effects technology, which was used in films like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to digitally play with the apparent ages of stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The New York Times reported that Otoy raised as much as $37 million, citing venture capital research firm VC Experts.
Paul Guyardo, the chief commercial officer at Discovery, called Otoy’s technology a “massive breakthrough,” while HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo called the company “a roadmap for the future of entertainment and technology.”