Raccoon project. How WEGAME inspired to create new product07 November 2016
WEGAME festival media office met with Raccoon team to ask them about the latest project achievements. Ukrainian startupers described themselves in more details and shared their future plans. Svetlana Malevannaya (S. M.), CEO and cofounder of Raccoon project answered our questions.
Interviewer: Lidiya Tsenenko (L. T.)
L. T.: Tell, please, in detail about your project. What are you working on?
S. M.: Our project focuses on designing gadgets for interaction with virtual reality. Initially, we wanted to develop VR gloves. But for the WEGAME 2.0 festival we have created a clip, allowing event guests to play computer games.
Most of the time they were playing Need For Speed Underground, and at the end of the second day, they could play Nu pogodi! We obtained positive feedback; many people even bought the clip despite the fact that it was designed to attract attention to our WEGAME stand. Then, we decided to determine this device as a separate product. This is the gadget accounting for space orientation.
As to our major product, the glove, this is a device that separately reads motions of each phalangeal bone, registering them and rendering to a virtual hand pattern. The technology allows recreating all of the smallest motions, which competitors, currently presenting on the market, don’t have. All existing VR gloves read the whole finger at best rather than a small motility,
L. T.: You frequently mention that the main Raccoon advantage is the opportunity to feel contact with subjects like with real ones. Does it mean that the glove renders tactual sensations from virtuality into reality? What is their range?
S. M.: This function is called force feedback. Currently, we have already implemented it using cables, located on the reverse of the glove. They don’t allow to clench a hand more than the virtual subject outline allows. There is a vibration option with various modes.
As for tactile sense of texture, shagginess and elasticity, it has not been implemented yet in the glove, but our technical specialists have already invented how to make it. In fact, a part of investments we are looking for will be used to create compact sensors for implementing into the glove on the inner side of the hand.
L. T.: The recent winning of our team in the Continental Startup Battle in Warsaw has become a great step forward for Ukrainian developers in general. How did this achievement influence your project?
S.M.: It was very interesting to participate in such an event, because we know all project and investors in Ukraine. Being a consultant and lawyer as well as accompanying many other startups and investment deals, I know this market all round. Thus, the trip to Poland was better than educational.
At that time, we have also got an idea to create a special glove to manage a presentation. Moreover, to make it more interesting, we have developed various gestures for all slides.
All Ukrainian projects were being worked out very thoroughly, while the Polish ones were not preparing so much. I have communicated with many IT startups in Georgia, so I can draw a relative parallel between investment market condition in Poland and Georgia. Poland government supports startups by all means, provides various benefits, motivations, finances, etc. Thus, they are very relaxed.
Their projects are more “ordinary”. Sure, they are pretty well, but don’t bring anything innovative to the market unlike our startups.
The competition in Poland involved 5 Ukrainian projects, so we were preparing during the whole trip. Teams helped each other to rehearse presentations. Some projects even reworked their presentations half an hour before their speech. Poland participants came until 2 minutes before the beginning, relaxedly took their seats, and then sat moon-eyed when we started our presentations.
L.T.: Does the project have any other significant winnings that you would like to tell about?
S. M.: October 12, we participated in UVCA (Ukrainian Venture Capital Association) contest. It is an association focusing on IT startup support. They hold various events, as well as invite investors and mentors from Silicon Valley.
Annually, Las Vegas hosts CES conference dedicated to electronics and the Internet of Things. Next year, it will create a zone of Ukrainian projects. Only the rent of a stand place is 2,000-4,000 dollars.
Thus, this year’s UVCA decided to select 8 of the best Ukrainian projects and pay for their places in CES 2017 zone. Flight and accommodation are at participants’ own expense and participation in the conference is at UVCA’s expense. And on 12 October, the final selection took place and Raccoon was successfully qualified for it. Now we are actively preparing in order to speak in Las Vegas worthily.
More interesting information about participants of our festival and current gaming industry events can be found in the News section. You can also get acquainted with the material about the Raccoon clip launch on Kickstarter.