Democratizing Augmented Reality with Voy


Kiet Ho and Cody Perakslis moved frequently growing up; when they arrived someplace new, the one thing they always had in common with their peers was that location; the shared sense of place. Arriving in the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota, Kiet and Cody asked friends to show them around. Visiting local buildings and landmarks with new friends unlocked personalized tours filled with compelling, original, and in-depth stories. “Every place you pass is someone’s special place,” says Kiet. Their audio augmented reality application, Voy, will be a home for those memories and stories made accessible to the entire world.

Every place you pass is someone’s special place.

- Kiet Ho

Currently in public beta, Voy is a platform for personalized “audio tours” of public locations, allowing users to both record their own tours through public locations and listen to recorded memories from others. “Audio allows a user to walk around and take in their surroundings while adding on another layer of supporting information. Unlike visual or written descriptions, audio is a medium doesn’t inhibit the act of exploring,” explains Kiet. “In fact, audio descriptions enhance your ability to explore.” Voy is the most recent investment by the Horizon Fund at Glen Nelson Center, a philanthropic investment fund that deploys donations to American Public Media Group as investments in companies at the frontier of media and technology.

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Voy Co-Founders Kiet Ho and Cody Perakslis.

Voy Co-Founders Kiet Ho and Cody Perakslis.

With their investment from Glen Nelson Center, Kiet and Cody plan to develop a function that allows users to record an audio tour directly into the Voy app, with the software automatically mapping their route and adding location information. Additionally, Voy is pursuing a creator program to enable users to earn money by producing Voy content, similar to how posting on Youtube can create a revenue stream for visual artists. “There are many artists out there that we believe can do very powerful and imaginative things with an audio format,” says Kiet. “Our hope is to give those creators a way to sustain themselves with this exciting new medium.” Motley, a neighborhood-use project in the Prospect Park/Stadium Village neighborhood of Minneapolis, has recently partnered with Voy to create audio tours that reveal the history of the neighborhood.

Currently, most audio-focused AR applications are based within the closed doors of museums, or other ticketed experiences. Glen Nelson Center is thrilled to partner with Voy to bring the power of audio augmented reality to a global audience.

For information about the Horizon Fund at Glen Nelson Center, click here. Learn more about Voy here.