Tech: Goal is practical products
Yang noted that with a team like theirs, “language is often a hurdle”. He recalled that as a student and new entrepreneur, he had faced challenges marketing products using a second language. “Still, we spend a lot of time improving [our language abilities] and developing other strengths into a complete package.
“You want to look for the ‘best fit’ for your team rather than absolute strongest,” he added. “We spend a lot of time getting to know our team members’ personalities, ideals and passions, so even where there’s cultural difference, we’re united in our vision.”
The vision, according to the founders, has two components. The first is to erase “the boundary that still exists between humans and the technology we encounter in everyday life, which we still need to interface using certain devices,” Yang said.
This is the premise behind products like Holus, whose interfaces includes 360-degree projections and motion tracking. This could lead to interactive gaming, 3D teleconferencing or presentations that allow presenters to change slides and figures with a wave of the hand.
The second part of the company’s vision is to create products with practical value to human society. “Humans should not have to be controlled by technology, but should enjoy the benefits it can provide,” Yang said.
Yang said that the “Magic Room,” an interactive holographic playroom that H+ designed and built for young patients at Ronald McDonald House BC, is a meaningful project for this reason. “We were not asking how [this project] could benefit the company, but simply how to provide enjoyment to the children and for society.
“Speaking as a relative newcomer to Canada myself, I think that wherever you go in the world, what you want understand is the local community’s values and how you can make a positive contribution toward it,” hesaid. “There are lots of ways to make money, but an entrepreneur should remember they are a member of society and should think of how they can add value to society.”
Like many students and entrepreneurs from China, Yang said he hoped that what he learns could be helpful to China. And, according to Li, H+ is “definitely keeping a close watch on technology incubators and entrepreneurial hubs in China, in order to look for opportunities to develop there.”
In September, 2012, the cofounders were invited by the government of Jiangxi province to give presentations at the Communications University of China (CUC), Shanghai Institute of Design and Nanchang High Tech Development Zone. A Chinese delegation from Jiangxi paid a reciprocal visit to H+ in Vancouver two months later.
H+ also collaborated with CUC School of Animation and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) in May 2013, on a 4-D box project called “Holo Planet”, created to help CPAWS’s animal conservation campaign.
The company’s connections with Chinese companies are still in the early stages, but Yang said that “the Chinese market has a lot of latent potential, and the company will continue to deepen its relationship with Chinese enterprises, investors and related industries”.