Technology infused stickers, temporary tattoos that come to life, and cutting-edge gaming technology are all areas of interest for BaltiVirtual, a startup company founded in 2015 that is dedicated to creating the newest wave of state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, the company consists of a team of 3D and virtual reality experts who have been working in the gaming industry since 1997. Now focused on applications for mobile devices, they are best known for their 3D stickers and "HoloTats" tattoo sets that come to life when viewed through the accompanying app program.
As both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality become better quality, less costly, and more familiar to the general public, BaltiVirtual sees seemingly limitless potential for the technology. From job training, education, construction, and branding to mental and physical well-being, this technology could eventually prove useful to millions of people across the globe. BaltiVirtual is focusing on the fun side of life with HoloTats, their increasingly popular series of stickers and temporary tattoos and coasters. The company is also building exciting AR projects for education, architecture and construction, military, and retail applications, to name a few. Moreover, BaltiVirtual built an augmented reality app for Under Armour that was released in 2016. It is publicly available and called UA Play, and was launched on Black Friday.
At present, there are approximately 60 HoloTat designs on the market, most of which are either very realistic or very cartoony. Although themes such as cars and trucks are available, animals have proven to be especially successful. Sharks, dolphins, penguins, frogs, and an assortment of other creatures are sold in packs of six or 10 at venues such as the Maryland Zoo and aMuse Toys.
"The staff at the Maryland Zoo have been really supportive of our products from the start," said BaltiVirtual CEO Will Gee. "They sell HoloTats in their stores and encouraged us to create a realistic set depicting endangered animals. We hope that gets kids even more interested in learning about these creatures."
BaltiVirtual values consumer feedback and they are happy to consider ideas from fans.
"We are looking for new trends to base future stickers and tattoos on," Shawn Patrick Flaherty, BaltiVirtual COO, declared. "We've set up an email on our website where people can submit ideas. We want to branch out more into pop-culture and branding so we can ultimately build trends. For example, we've done work for Oreo Cookies and a number of other household brands. We also love to create custom content for professional sports teams, colleges and universities. If a fan provides an idea that becomes a part of the company catalog, they will be provided with free samples of the final product, email firstname.lastname@example.org and explore the possibilities with us!"
While both Will and Shawn believe that augmented reality will one day take the place of smartphones, they are now focusing mainly on the stickers and tattoos and considering ways to branch out in the future. They frequently host media events at their office where hundreds of industry professionals and VR aficionados gather to mingle and brainstorm. BaltiVirtual founded BmoreVR, the first virtual and augmented reality meet-up in Maryland. Moreover, last year they partnered with the Baltimore Tattoo Museum in Maryland to offer consumers the "Baltimore Heart," a tattoo representing love that now responds to the app.
"If you point your phone at it, a raven will fly in and land on the heart, which is filled in with the city's flag," Will said. "It's an ode to Edgar Allan Poe and our great city of Baltimore, and was meant to inspire unity after the unrest of last April."
To learn more about BaltiVirtual, visit their official website. To learn more about HoloTats, visit the official website and Instagram of the product line. To see two videos of the products in action, see here and here.
[Featured Image by Shawn Patrick Flaherty/BaltiVirtual]