Stories and Articles

Students Build Start-Up Company from Class Project

Reverb founders Luciano De Meglio (left) and Ryan Kawano Each student in Dr. Kaveh Abhari’s MIS 306 fall semester class (Information Systems Analysis) is tasked with developing an application program, complete with a user interface/user experience design (UI/UX), an implementation plan and numerous other components. Once complete, the applications are presented to a judging panel at the end of the semester in December.

However, for two students, this was more than just a class project. Ryan Kawano and Luciano Di Meglio, seniors in the Fowler College of Business, used this class project to launch their start-up, Reverb.

Reverb, a virtual reality (VR) application, would let users to browse upcoming concerts, purchase tickets and souvenirs, and live stream concerts in virtual reality using a smartphone and a VR headset. Additionally, users could view concerts that have previously streamed in case the user was unavailable to view the live event.

The technology works using 360 degree cameras that would be installed at each concert venue. The cameras would integrate six degrees of freedom (6DoF) technology allowing users to move their heads and bodies in different directions in order to get a different view within the sphere of the video. “This gives the user the feeling of depth and makes them feel as if they are actually at the event,” explained Kawano. He and Di Meglio also plan to integrate audio equipment into each installation to provide a better audio streaming experience for users.

Kawano pointed out that Reverb is unique from its competition in that it offers users the opportunity to live stream a concert rather than viewing a digital recording. “We want to give our customers the most authentic experience possible – as if you were actually at the concert itself,” he pointed out. “We want them to enjoy watching their favorite artists without the hassle or expense of traveling long distances to the venue.”

While the concept of the technology has been formulated, Reverb still needs additional resources before the app can be tested. “After we won the poster contest, we wanted to see how far we could take this idea, so we applied to the ZIP Launchpad where our application was accepted,” said Kawano. “We will soon be going through a review process to move to the next stage which involves creating and testing a prototype.”

If Reverb is greenlighted to go to the second phase in the ZIP Launchpad process, Kawano and Di Meglio plan to take their former class project into the product launch stage after they graduate from SDSU. Said Kawano: “Regardless of what happens, this has been an amazing learning and growth opportunity for me.”