Your own portable movie theater

MovieMask’s portable 2D cinema turns your smartphone into a cinema-quality experience

Man wearing MovieMask.

Photo courtesy of MovieMask
MovieMask lets you watch cinema-quality movies wherever you are.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

MovieMask provides the cinema experience anywhere, anytime. In short, it’s a portable cinema that works by combining your smartphone with specialized optics.

To use the head-mounted display, you simply pick the content of your choosing, put any smartphone in the lid, put the mask on, and the cinema experience begins. The experience is enabled through specialized optics, which result in the perceived feeling of watching a 100-inch screen from three meters away.

Mobile video consumption is growing fast, and more and more content providers are releasing their content online. Unlike all the Virtual Reality glasses on the market today, MovieMask does not have a split screen or separate chambers. Instead, they are focused on the existing 2D content, which they claim has four times the resolution of mobile VR. This means that the user can access 100 percent of the content available online while enjoying cinema-quality resolution.

Eirik Wahlstrøm and Harald Manheim founded the company in 2016 when they were both studying Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU. “After watching The Hateful Eight in a movie theater in San Francisco, we realized how long it had been since we had a good movie experience. We discussed how today’s media consumption is more and more mobile driven but that what we have gained in mobility, we have lost in experience,” said Manheim of their inspiration.

Harald Manheim sitting next to the product boxes.

Photo courtesy of MovieMask
One of the founders, Harald Manheim, with the boxes of their new creation.

“Our goal in MovieMask is to define 2D film masks the same way that GoPro has defined action cameras,” said Wahlstrøm.

To raise money, the company turned to crowd funding and presented their goal of making the world more fun by using existing technology to unlock new experiences. They started off with a successful Kickstarter campaign, delivering more than 3,000 products to the Norwegian market. They then had Norway’s most-successful campaign on Startskudd ever and decided to move on to the global market. On the first day of their Indiegogo campaign alone, they raised $40,000. They have also been accepted into nHack, a Shanghai-based accelerator program.

The production takes place in Shenzhen, a small fishing village that turned into a booming city when China gave it status as a Special Economic Zone in 1980. It is considered to be a great hub for creating your first product. Although most people think of Chinese factories as great halls with thousands of workers in an assembly line, the factory making the original MovieMask product has only 24 employees.

MovieMask argues it is much smarter for new startups to pick a small, agile company. The production facilities are located a mere 15 meters from the office space. They can quickly develop new prototypes in meetings and then easily meet with all the specialty workers and understand what needs to be improved. Doing this in a small factory takes minutes instead of days.

As the demand for the product grows, the product line must grow with it. The company has therefore started offering three different models with a new patent-pending single lens system. They hope to grow into a global actor within the year, offering the MovieMask experience all around the world.

Catch the tail end of MovieMask’s Indiegogo campaign, which ends on November 5, 2017. Visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/moviemask-your-portable-cinema-movies-smartphone# to order your own MovieMask.

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

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