Today’s guest is the co-founder and CEO of an augmented reality-focused startup headquartered in Paris that allows you to virtually visit exotic destinations right from your smartphone.
Want to virtually visit the Eiffel Tower, perhaps a beach in Miami or even Madagascar? Maybe check out the Grand Canyon or a hotspot in Italy?
Interestingly, with millions of people recently being stuck at home due to the coronavirus, the idea of virtual vacations quickly went from “a cool idea” to nearly a necessity for mental health.
Whether you want to travel from the comfort of your home to relax or for your sanity, please welcome Michel Ruiz.
This was a fun episode to record because it features Michel’s original replies in French and also his translator Jaime replying on Michel’s behalf in English. If you’d like to listen to the English-only episode of only Jaime’s replies on Michel’s behalf, please visit
Otherwise, hang on, because we’re starting this episode in 3… 2…
- 1:44 – Michel Ruiz’s Background
- 7:56 – Different Location of the App
- 12:15 – VR with Caviar
- 17:15 – COVID effects on Caviar
- 20:38 – Monetize plan in the Future
Learn more about this guest:
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Michel Ruiz and hi, many Thanks so much for joining me on learning from others today. That was great pleasure to be here. Yeah. So this is good. It’ll be a first for me. I’m excited to do this discussion because I’m listeners, as you can tell, we have two guests, Michel Ruiz, who is the cofounder and CEO of Kaviar.
And we’re going to talk about what that is here in a moment. And then Jaime is also a part of the business and he’s a translator because they are both located in France today. So this is going to be something cool to do. Thanks for joining guys. Yeah, we’re very excited. Thank you. So what we’re going to do is we’ll, we’ll go through, you know, listeners the usual round of question and have a great discussion.
And then, uh, Jaime is going to jump in and, and Michel, Michel’s gonna give answers. Jaime’s going to translate for us and we’ll see where this goes. So this is cool. So, you know, Michel, I’d like to start with the first two questions is question number one. What are you good at? And what are we going to learn from you today?
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Alright. Um, alright. So first of all, what, you know, he does good is that he tries to really put some effort into changing the life of people and giving them situations place, giving them situations that, you know, make them dream and make them want to advance in life and could potentially learn, uh, from Michel is, um, well, all that she wants pretty much to really learn, could really teach you about my past errors and how I’ve used them to learn and to keep them going and, you know, build a successful business.
Yeah. I always like learning about, like you said, those past errors, because I think not only is it important to have entrepreneurs be inspired about success, but I think probably oftentimes they can learn more from the errors than just the success stories. So we’ll get into some of that question. Number two is Michel, what are you not good at at all?
All right. So basically, uh, I think I’m not exactly good at it is selling, uh, selling myself. Uh, so basically before, uh, I was a consultant here, Michel was a consultant and he was really good at selling solutions, selling marketing solutions. Uh, but then when it came to selling himself, Uh, that was actually a bit of a challenge.
So he’s really good at selling the product. Um, but in selling himself, it’s, you know, a little bit more complicated. So, so yeah. Yeah. Well, let’s talk, let’s get into, you know, the main, the main project that you have going on right now. And what’s interesting. I’ll give you a little bit of a comment to be I have on more than one occasion told.
Other people. I, I wish that somebody, um, you know, so I I’ll give you a little bit story. So I like to go on what I call day trips. So for me, there’s no beaches nearby where I’m located. Um, the closest oneis about a 90 minute flight. And so once a month I used to go and, you know, not so much now during the coronavirus, but I used to fly to the beach and then come home and get that little reset.
And obviously I have different virtual reality apps, but they’re pretty limited. And. Several times I’ve told people. I wish somebody would create a way that I could do my day trips. Virtually. And so when you and I connected it is, is literally the exact thing that I’ve told people that I wish existed. So this morning I was in France and I was in Madagascar.
You jumped on and was visiting . So you can share that with Michel, but, uh, it’s really interesting for me because I’ve actually looked for something like this. So I’m excited to now be pointed to your app. Okay, don’t go. Don’t do commission office. It doesn’t tell us on probably replicates
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such a big deal. All right. So basically there’s two things, uh, whether he really wanted to do with this application of being able to, you know, teleport yourself to another location, is that already Michel he’s, you know, he, he has a big passion for holidays, uh, but holidays are really enjoyed when you’re able to share it with people and to teleportation is a really, it’s a big fantasy for a lot of people.
So really, as we’re focused now with augmented reality, This was really a challenge, uh, that was actually very important to accomplish. And, you know, we’ve been able to do it, you know, with KVO Gates and I’ll give the listeners a little bit further explanation of what Kaviar gate does. So it’s an app that you can install and then it allows you to select a destination and then it creates a virtual door.
Uh, so it kind of scans the room. You’re in creates a door as, um, you know, a marker and then you can go in through the door and then you. Look around and you’re in that location. So like I said, I was in France and Madagascar this morning before our call. And so I went to the beach and what I like about it is I’ve seen, I mean, other apps or there’s obviously VR pitchers, where you can just, you know, pan and look just a little bit.
But the part that I was missing, that I was explaining that I was looking for. Was the ability to actually continue to take steps or move a little bit and then experience it more instead of just a pitcher. So for the listeners, it is, it is not just a pitcher. Like you can actually walk through like Google maps style, where there’s a three 60 scan of the area and take a couple steps on the beach or walk through France or walkthrough, you know, whatever location.
I mean, how many locations do you have on the app? All right. So right now we have 25 different applications at different locations that we can visit. Uh, in various, all over the world, uh, and with the use of images and videos, you can actually see what’s going on. And obviously one of the aims is to, first of all, make this library of locations a lot bigger, a lot greater by eventually working with tourism agencies, then, you know, they could offer us locations to preach in the, in the library and also with using yeah.
Eventually real time, a real time video. So you actually have the impression that you are really there. And you’re sharing the moment. Oh, wow. So how would, how would in theory, how would the real time, um, feature work?
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probably, well, I would boost the school. Okay. I see. Alright, basically, we’re going to be using it with the use of establishing a fleshly placing physically placing a 360 degree camera, uh, in the locations and with the use of live streaming, we’ll be able to, you know, to make this possible, but Reno will obviously need a lot more resources for that.
So right now what we’re doing is we’re taking things step by step. So our most, uh, our latest. Uh, update that we actually did a few days ago was the possibility to now be able to visit museums, but, uh, with real size dimensions. So you can actually, once you walk through the door, if the museum that you’re visiting is 10 meters long, you will have to walk 10 meters to go to the other side of the room that you’re in.
And obviously your, all the artwork that you’re seeing, uh, that is in, you know, with real dimension and you make your own museum with your own picture in your smartphone, you know, You’ll take your picture and I’ll pick you up. Is the museum yeah. Personalized signifies. So you can take a real location, but then personalize it with your own, whatever.
Yeah. Okay. Um, so is there the potential for, you know, you and I are talking on zoom right now, is there a potential for, at some point we put on our VR headsets and we connect through Kaviar. And or zoom together and we have avatars or something where we can talk together on the beach.
on headset on headset. Do
I think that’s going to take me just a month at times.
That’s good technique.
yeah, no, no proof of concept. No book for
It really again, if you demo there’s also SU social network. I don’t know.
All right. Okay. So basically, yeah. I mean, we’re always looking to develop. Yeah. And, you know, there was so many exciting new ideas coming ahead. Uh, but obviously, you know, for this, you know, we’re still looking for funding, we’re still in the funding stage. So really actually excited to be able to pick these future projects, uh, you know, into action.
And, you know, we presented our products. We’ve worked with many organizations in AR and virtual reality and, you know, they’re helping us develop, uh, as well. And also one of our other solutions is for example, for a video, uh, It is exactly possible. And we really want to, you know, make this possible, which we’ve already doing, uh, with Kaviar go, which is, you know, social networking, augmented reality.
So with the use of geolocalization, you can actually. Treat yourself, uh, in a certain place, you know, and speak to your friend as if you were really there. So, you know, if I was to, for example, fill myself in front of the Eiffel tower, and if one day you were to come to Paris, walk in front of the Eiffel tower, then you’ll get into, nutrification saying, hi may was here.
Uh, and then you’ll see me using your phone. You will be able to see me I’ll appear and right in front of you. And I’ll say, Hey, Damon, how are you doing? Yeah, it was actually here two years ago. I used to live in the city. I hope you enjoy your day and everything. Is that as if I was actually there. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s very cool. Because then you could probably share those experiences, like you said, Hey, I was here already. And one of the things I enjoyed was that over there and go look at that thing. Exactly. So we’re really focusing on social networking as well to, you know, to make these kinds of, to make it social admitted, to reality in a social way.
Let’s talk about the current world. Um, the situation, the current world is in with coronavirus and, uh, staying at home. So I was fascinated with this just because, like I said, my previous interest in just. Getting a little virtual vacation. And now this is a totally different world where I think there is a, um, a whole other value that Kaviar brings.
So. Maybe talk a little bit about how you, if you have changed or model at all, or, um, has there been a change in focus because of everything, because you’ve obviously been developing this for a long time. And so you made a lot of progress before coronavirus came around, but when it came, when everything started happening, there’s an increased value in what Kaviar offers.
So has that. Changed any of your business processes or has it just added more confidence behind what you were already doing? Okay. Um, okay. Don’t do cool. Michel.
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Okay. Uh, all right. So, um, yeah, uh, the virus definitely accelerated the development, uh, of Kaviar gate of the application. And it was an idea that we’ve had for a very long time focusing in the tourism and the, you know, the holiday industry. But, uh, this really, you know, woke us up and motivated us to accelerate the application because we want to unjust.
We want to make people understand that the possibilities. With augmented reality, AR endless, there’s so many different things that you could do with augmented reality. And right now, since it’s still a new concept, it’s still, uh, as a gadget, you know, it was a really specific budget and not seen as an actual useful tool that could be used by many people where you’ve used by everybody.
So we really want to, you know, show people through the use of Kaviar gate and make them understand that, you know, augmented reality really is the web of tomorrow. And so, for example, if with this application on your phone, on your tablet, you have the possibility see to go to the beach, then you’re also.
Capable to be able to go into a shop or a boutique, for example. And you know, and then tomorrow, you know, in the, in the near future, you’ll be able to really touch these products and see them. So for example, one of our other solutions is if you see a chair, an amended valve, you can actually place it in your living room.
You click on it, you place it in your living room and you really see the chair as if it was there. And, you know, it gives you a better idea if you want to purchase another product and you just click on it and you order it. So it’s really simplifying it. So yeah, this crisis really accelerated our development and because, you know, we want to show them the real, that there’s a real usage and it’s a possibility to simplify, uh, people’s lives, uh, because you, especially right now, you know, it’s difficult to, to be confined.
It’s difficult to me. It would be in lockdown. So it’s way of looking at things positively on augmented reality to be there for everybody. And of course, in a big crisis, there’s always big changes. And, you know, we want to adapt ourselves to that and you want, we believe, we believe that we can. And that acquainted reality one day we’ll be, you know, really important, uh, in our line of big part in our lives is simple
And I feel maximum demo. So what we’re doing with this application to show how simple it is, is already the fact that, that it’s free, it’s free to download, and it’s very simple to use. There’s no need to log in or given your dates or anything. You just download it, select your location. And you’re there in this space of just a few minutes.
So it’s really simple and anybody can use it. Yeah. I actually appreciated that because I didn’t have to put in an email. I didn’t just the speed of it. And I’m a very privacy sensitive person, but I understand why apps require a login. So if I ignore that and I still didn’t have to do it, I actually, uh, that, that got up.
Positive vote for me. We’re glad now I think it’s for more people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That likely helps, um, you know, bring more adoption from users now what’s on the business side of things. So since it is free now, how do you plan to monetize this in the future?
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Okay. Perfect. All right. So basically our business model where we’re going to be going to be focusing on the tourism and the tourism sector. So basically tomorrow there’ll be touristic operator that will be able to actually put in. Uh, with the use of images and videos, to be able to be able to put in his own destiny in the library, you know, and then the, you know, they’ll pay to have this library in order to reach out to their clients in this way.
So there’s actually means that, for example, you know, with, uh, with, with holiday agencies, it will be able to put in not only the locations, but for example, a hotel. So this will give the user the opportunity to visit the hotel. And especially if they’ve placed, you know, a live camera in the hotel, they’ll be able to see it.
Life, uh, through, through live streaming. And then, you know, it’ll be able to visit the hotel and they’ll say, okay, well, you know, well, this is where I want to go. And then they’ll, you know, they’ll book their holidays in this way. So it’s really as a way of changing the ways, how we book our holidays. And not only is it for, for holidays or beaches or hotels, but it could also be, you know, for touristic locations.
We could also use it to develop, uh, regions, cities, uh, for museums, you know, you could, and you can put in a camera two to show a one specific room or one specific yeah. Area of the museum to, you know, to make the person one to, to visit. Uh, so right now our aim is to get the application out there. Give it to, you know, give it to everybody and then give them the opportunity to give the businesses, businesses and agencies, the opportunity to kind of join our adventure and put in their own locations.
Yeah, of course, right now, obviously our visibility is really important because businesses normally, you know, one of those same contracts with other businesses, they want a guarantee. I guarantee you that, you know, Kaviar, we are actually out there and you know, we’re actually, okay. We’re actually offering a good solution.
So right now that’s why we’re building up our, we’re getting people to use the application. So then when, you know, when reach out to these companies and agencies, they’ll see. Oh yeah. Okay. So caveats have your spec. They’re really out there, you know, there’s actually something interesting going on here. So, so the goal, the, the idea to monetize it is that you bring a large audience and your customers, not the users, but your customers would then be destinations that, um, can use the app to inspire or excite their leads, uh, with, with, uh, a little taste of the experience to then hopefully get them to go in real life, to this place.
Yeah, of course. Yeah. And obviously you’re using this application, you know, the fact that people are using it right now, it helps us to show. Yeah, there’s actually an interest for this application. I know the businesses will be able to then communicate this application to their own customers and get them to download it in order to see the locations that they’re putting in.
So actually integrated. To part of, you know, part of their business. Now, you had also mentioned that, um, you know, before, before we jumped on a little bit of information was that you can bring this to consumers, but then you can also bring this to companies. So is, is that the part where companies come in is, is part of the monetization and that’s the relationship that companies bring is, is the business model behind Kaviar.
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for the business model.
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okay. Perfect. Alright. So, um, so yeah, but amongst the amongst other things, uh, companies will be actually be able to privatize. They will have the option to privatize the application. If they want to use it exclusively for their clients using their own logo. It’s just a question of. You know of transferring the technology into their brand image.
So to give you an example, this could be used as a human resources equipment for the integration of a new employees. So you’ll be able to show them where they’re going to work, how their office is going to be, like, give them the opportunity to visit the office. As part of the recruitment process. Um, and also to give another example is for preparation.
Uh, so Michel actually, when he was in the army, he was, you know, he was a consultant and he prepared people, uh, for exams. And one of the factors that they did not have was the fact that there was, there was. No possibility to visit the exam place, uh, where they go, where they were, where they were going to take it
So if only we will be able to do this, people would be more reassured there, be less stress, if you could actually find yourself physically in a, in a place. So it kind of reassures you. So it’s just one, it’s one example of the many things that we could do. Yeah. Now with millions quarantined right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s kind of an emphasis on mental health.
Have, have you made any effort or have a others contacted you to team up with mental health specialists to help with mental wellness? Are there opportunities there? All right. So basically I don’t recall, Michel. Uh, convenience is good.
don’t get fee on a field. uh, whenever I’m on Joanie or if I’m on
the seek funding specialist, they don’t not say don’t say the name. I know
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got superior yeah. When they do come counsel, Paul
don’t have kids, but I’m Saskatoon. They put me out. I thought
swabbing, multifold, swabbing mirror unit.
all right. Okay. So I’m not directly, uh, but we’ve been documented a lot and we really send it. Do people, this message that, you know, we’re the situation that we’re going through. And now that we’re living 20 years ago, it would have been a lot more difficult, uh, right now, you know, we have, we’re very lucky to have the technology.
We have a, you know, these days because we are stuck at home, but thanks to technology, we’re still able to speak to our kids. You know, via, via camera, via Skype. And you’ve mentored reality is going to give a superior dimension, uh, to this. So for example, to give an example of, you know, the other, actually one of our solutions that we have is web AR, which is you can actually take a photo.
I can take a photo of myself and I can send myself by message. You open the link on your, on your, or the message that you received. And I’ll actually be there in front of you. There’ll be, there’ll be a cut a photo of me right in front of you. So tomorrow we’ll be able to have. Thanks to advantage reality.
We’ll be able to have somebody right in front of you next to you speaking to you, whether it’s through the screen of your phone or your glasses. Now, do you have you, you mentioned augmented reality and I think that’s maybe a good opportunity for you to explain the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality.
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Okay. All right. So basically, you know, with, with augmented reality, you’re not cut off from your physical reality. Uh, so it’s, you know, it’s the virtual coming in front of you and it’s adapting to the environment, whereas with, you know, virtual, sure. Reality, you’re cut off from the physical world. You’re cut off from that way.
And it’s yourself that is entering into the digital world. Whereas invented reality is the digital world coming to you. So virtual reality would be you’re entirely within the app or the game or whatever. It’s all digitized. Augmented reality would be blending through a camera or lens or some sort of device where the virtual reality is layered on top of the, what you can actually see in front of you.
Exactly, exactly. It takes into your physical environment, into account, you know, whereas virtual reality, you’re in another world. Got it. Now the, the name is interesting. Tell me about that because I know you started to talk about, um, you know, why you chose that name, some caveat
mentioned reality. Uh
Okay. So basically, you know, we chose this name because it’s short. Uh, it’s very quick, so easy to remember it. It has a R at the end of it. So augmented reality, and it’s also a name that can be recognized and is recognized. It can be recognized internationally. And it also, it’s the idea that you know, that we’re giving air to everybody.
And you know, when we think of the word Kaviar over already, what we know it’s a luxurious product. It’s a very exclusive products, but we want to be the. You know, get away from the city and give it to everybody. And you don’t make people that yes, they, they too can access, you know, this luxurious and exclusive product.
Yeah. Yeah. Now when we first started the conversation, Michel had mentioned, um, you know, W past errors that he’s learned from maybe briefly touch on some of the things that you’ve learned as you know, our audience is largely entrepreneurs. And so they learn from those experiences that other ghosts others go through.
Are there any kind of, um, whether they were mistakes or learning experiences and opportunities that you can talk about that you’ve learned from through the development of Kaviar gate? Okay. Don’t you agree, Michel?
Okay. Uh, Motley, uh, I’ve owned a
Sure the luckiest soon. So they calculate the amount. It’s all a business model.
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Okay. All right. Uh, so yeah, there’s actually two examples, uh, that I could give you. So basically before starting Kaviar, uh, Michel was in the army and just after he left the army, he started an eCommerce and e-commerce startup, which is about 10 years ago. And, you know, digital. The digital business. And he learned a lot from his mistakes, uh, with this business, especially in relation to the business model, uh, because he thought, okay, this was, you know, this was a market that he knows a lot about.
So very interested in it. So it would be easy, understood his target market. He’s got the product, but quickly realized that if you don’t have the good product, good moment, that’s going to serve the people. It’s not going to work. And not only because, you know, Your market, your target market. It doesn’t mean that you’re a success.
It needs to, you need to have, it’s very important to have your product that works. And that also corresponds to the people at that given moment. And also the other one is understanding the service, the service that you’re giving. You know, we are a business of service. We know we’re selling a service and, uh, it’s very important to understand your clients and understand that today the service is the heart of the business and it’s, you know, the heart of success before everything because, uh, you don’t buy your clients.
They’re coming to you, they’re coming to you for the product. So if you’re having to buy your clients, if you’re having to invest in, you know, actually. Getting these clients, then you’re not, you’re not achieving clients. So it’s really, you know, developing your product and making the clients come to you.
And that’s what makes the product work. Now we get kind of closer to finishing. Um, I have a question that I think a lot of people have been waiting to hear the answer to. And part of it, I think will be funny or part of it could be serious. So I’ll let you decide if you want to answer this funny or serious or both.
So. Have you had stories or what do you plan to do about the people that walk into walls? Okay. That’s a great question. Uh, right.
and all that. All of them, they put a small bag. We’re going to sell them. We’re going to sell them bandages.
And it has a knife we’re able to film themselves doing it, then, you know, they would actually be even funnier. So may, so maybe you make, um, another website that’s, uh, you know, Kaviar clips.com and it’s just all the, all of those I don’t get to
Exactly exactly Michel and Jaime. I appreciate your time. Thanks for jumping on learning from others. I want to give you the last few moments to, uh, put out your website or any other comfort, uh, contact information you want to share. All right, don’t do
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Okay. Alright. Um, so yeah, well, first of all, it’s just to allow me to thank you to you, uh, for, you know, for the time you give them to us. And, um, it’s just the case of trying the application, uh, for people, you know, to download it on the app store or on the play store for Android. And use the application and also tell us what you think, you know, on their website, just by going on Kaviar Gates, you’ll find us or also Kaviar tech, which is know our, our mother company.
And, uh, and just, you, you know, give us your feedback. You know, we’re a company that’s, we start up that just began a few years ago. So we really like to have feedback and. You know, if you have any ideas for developing, it would be great. And also for the destinations, you know, as I mentioned before, we have 25 destinations, but it’s just the beginning.
We want to put in a lot more, uh, therefore everybody, and we know that there are many people out there that make their own videos, take their own photos. So if anybody, you know, is interested in actually putting their own videos or photos, Into the library. You could get in contact with us through the website.
I know we can look at the possibilities of integrating it into our library and, uh, also it’s important to just follow us. Awesome. So, uh, social media sites. So we’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram as well. Uh, we publish a lot in over our new solutions. And because our aim is to really make the technology available to everybody.
So for example, as I mentioned as well, you know, web AR will be able to send content in augmented reality by text messages. So really just follow us on social network, on social media sites, you know, give us your feedback. And also this technology, you know, it’s available for the app. We’ll work with your phones.
For example, for the iPhone, it works from the iPhone six and onward. We’ll work with the five. So if anybody wouldn’t have from five tries and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t work. It’s just the phone. Uh, so yeah, but, uh, yeah, just follow us and you know, don’t hesitate to visit our website and that’s the caveat with a K the website is K a V I a r.app, a P P Michel and Jaime.
Thanks so much for your time. Thank you very much to you, David. Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure. Thank you.