Gene Dolgoff's 3D Vision: Using Crowdfunding To Turn the World 3D

Posted: August 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Story by Benjamin F. Kuo

Santa Monica-based Fundable (www.fundable.com) is a newly launched, crowdfunding site which is headed by local entrepreneur Wil Shroter. Recently, an interesting project popped up on the site--a a 2D to 3D conversion project, from the inventor of the original, LCD projector, Gene Dolgoff. Dolgoff has a fascinating background--he invented the first LCD projector, he helped inspire Star Trek's Holodeck, and he also is a serial entrepreneur who took his company public on the NASDAQ in the 90's. Since Dolgoff is raising money for his 2D-to-3D startup via Fundable, we thought it would be interesting to hear about the project, and how he ended up turning to Fundable.

Tell us about your project?

Gene Dolgoff: After years of research and development, we have developed technology which converts two dimensional video to 3D. Not only that, but we're able to display it on any display device, including TV sets, whether they are 2D or 3D, computers, projectors, and handheld devices. It was a series of different technologies we had ot develop and apply for patents on, and now that we have it, we're working on a prototype. Because we want to get into production, marketing, and sales, right now we're listing on Fundable.com. We have a contest for people to design what the case will look like, and we're using Fundable to raise $10,000 to give to the winner.

Why turn to crowdfunding and Fundable for this?

Gene Dolgoff: We were actually talking before there was a Fundable. We had been talking with another of their companies, the GoBig network, which is a membership organization of investors and entrepreneurs. We have a business plan and private placement on that site, and recently started searching for investors to raise the funds we needed to go into production, and start marketing and sales. We started talking with the folks at GoBig, and they ended up talking to people higher up in the organization, and then we ended up talking with their founders, including Wil. They told us that they were going to start this new, crowdfunding site, and we thought it would be great to be on it and started working together on it.

You've got an interesting story, can you talk about your road here?

Gene Dolgoff: When I was a young kid, I was fascinated by imagery. I wanted to learn about imagery, how the brain works, and how to make 3D images. I started making 3D images when I was thirteen, and at the time I was making lenticular 3D images with the guy who invented that process, victor Anderson. We also made a 3D, CRT television, which may have been the world's first 3D TV, which we had in the Brooklyn Museum in New York. In 1964, I started working on holography, and was one of the first in the world to work on that. Over the next decade, I invented the process of transfering that to printing, to things like credit cards and security applications, and many other different areas. The idea came to me for making a video projector that was brighter and better than CRTs, and it came to me how to do that in 1968.

I started experimenting with materials, and by 1970 I'd settled on liquid crystals, because it was a digital system. I had been a programmer since 1961, and was familiar with digital, and realized that was the way to go. It took until April of 1984, and by 1988 I had met someone to invest in it, and I started the world's first digital projector company, Projectavision. We got a contract form DARPA, the Defense Department agency in 1989, went public in 1999, raised $20M, and got lots of patents, licensed it to lots of companies, and also made our own product which showed up in stores. I was doing that until 1995. After I left, I started working on a lot of different areas, and one of those was 3D, lenticular printing. It was so much more advanced than back in 1960's, and we started selling posters in 3D for advertising. By late 2005 and 2006, we saw the return of 3D movies, made possible by the digital projectors. I realized now was the time to focus on consumer applications, because eventually everyone would want 3D TV in their home. So, we started developing the technology, and once that we put that together, we started looking for funding.

Can you talk a bit about your technology, and how it's different from other, 3D technology out there?

Read more here:
Gene Dolgoff's 3D Vision: Using Crowdfunding To Turn the World 3D

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