Meet the Speakers
Christian Sander is the CEO and Co-founder of Dear Reality, an Audio VR/AR company creating VR experiences focused on sound and the 3D Audio technology dearVR listed VR Essentials by Unity. He is an expert for spatial audio, virtual acoustics and VR sound design with more than eight years of experience in Audio VR, DSP and R&D.
The German government's BMWi awarded him as Kreativpilot 2016 for creative leadership. He was technical director for Dear Reality's most successful immersive audio game 39 – WDR HörSpiel with more than a 100.000 downloads and nominated for the German Video Game Award 2015. Dear Reality is award winner of the European Venture Contest 2016, VRVCA selected and part of the Startup Autobahn accelerator led by Daimler, Porsche, HP and BASF to bring augmented audio technology into German cars and industry applications.
At DIGILITY 2017 Christian will be speaking about „The future of sound: Augmented Audio and Virtual Acoustics“. To prepare for his keynote, enjoy reading our next speaker interview with him.
Christian, what is the story behind Dear Reality and what is your vision?
In 2012, I released a scientific paper at AES Convention in San Francisco about “Spatial Audio on mobile devices” and at the same time Achim Fell, my co-founder, was searching for a Spatial Audio solution for his 3D audio game “39 - WDR HörSpiel”. When someone sent the paper to Achim, he found out that this technology was invented in Düsseldorf - not far away from his hometown.
We decided to combine the Audio VR tech world with the Game world, to create great products from content creators for content creators and founded Dear Reality in 2014. We want to become the market leader for advanced Spatial Audio technology and production tools!
From what problem did you develop your products and how do you estimate the market?
When we started the development of the dearVR 3D audio engine, there was no spatial audio solution for mobile devices on the market. And especially simulating virtual acoustics with certain presets for any acoustics scenario, there is still a lack for VR/AR and game content creators. There is a lot going on in this field, especially with free solutions from YouTube, Oculus or Steam. But none of them covers the Virtual Acoustics presets demand as we do and e.g. our dearVR Unity Asset sales constantly grow and we get a lot of requests for the dearVR on DAWs, that we are going to release pretty soon.
As you are still a startup with some developers in the background, how are the chances and funding opportunities for young companies in such an emerging market especially in Germany?
There are a lot of chances to get public funding for initial starts but still too many public fundings with high own share rates, not suitable for Startups. Tech in VR/AR is totally underestimated by German VCs and angels, while there are billion investments in the USA. But the Government tries to support startups by organising pitch events. That's a good first step.
With whom of our other DIGILITY speakers could you imagine to go on the holodeck and which experience would you like to walk through with her/him?
With Dominic Eskofier from NVIDIA, he is a very cool guy. We would be at a conference and try to find out if we are there for real or in VR. He from the visual and me from the sound perspective.
Which of your projects will you present at DIGILITY and why is it so special? (Feel free to tell us as many details and background stories as you like.)
We will present the dearVR Spatial Connect platform. It’s a completely new workflow to mix Spatial Audio for VR while being in VR. All automatons and settings for the mix are saved in the content creators Digital Audio Workstation they are used to work with. The final mix can be bounced to common Ambisonics formats or even better, exported directly to the Unity game engine to have the complete object-based mix there. That's a very unique workflow pipeline.
In two sentences: WHY DIGILITY?
Last year was a blast! I met so many interesting people in the AR/VR world there and made contacts that are still lasting. I advise anyone active or interested in this field to go there!
Thank you, Christian! Very interesting insights and we are looking forward hearing your keynote!