May 21, 2024

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Casablanca at DHDL: This is why we started AI

Casablanca at DHDL: This is why we started AI

Carsten Kraus founded his own data company Omicron before graduating high school in 1998. The computer game company Atari later licensed a programming language he developed. © Public Relations

It's a common problem: During video meetings, you look at the screen, but not into the eyes of the person you're talking to. The laptop's cameras mounted on the top bezel are to blame – where hardly anyone looks during a call. Result: To the other participants it appears as if the person speaking is looking down at them.

The effect of the show in “The Lion's Den”

For Carsten Kraus, this is a drawback that should not be underestimated. “The skewed perspective makes it difficult to correctly interpret facial expressions and body language and build trust, especially in meetings with strangers,” says the businessman from Pforzheim. The 56-year-old wants to use his expertise in artificial intelligence to solve the problem of eye contact. To that end, Kraus founded the startup Casablanca.AI in Pforzheim in 2020. Under that name, he developed software that corrects the camera's perspective as if it were behind the eyes of the person you're talking to instead of at the edge of the screen. He is now presenting this solution in the fifteenth season of “The Lions’ Den” and hopes to invest it.

Krause filed a corresponding patent for the software in June 2021. A year later, Markus Vollmer joined Casablanca.AI as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. Vollmer himself founded the startup Neo Cargo in 2021, a software for digitizing logistics for medium-sized companies. The two met at an accelerator in Karlsruhe.

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