Tech visionary: Slovak innovation could soon change how we talk to each other

Mária Virčíková from Matsuko eyes up Silicon Valley with game-changer holographic communication.

Mária VirčíkováMária Virčíková (Source: Peter Contos)

She was one of only two girls in the cybernetics and artificial intelligence class at the Technical University of Košice, eastern Slovakia, in the early 2010s. Surrounded by thirty wannabe programmers, the Spanish bilingual high school graduate seemed slightly out of place in the binary world of ones and zeroes.

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Yet,Mária Virčíková didn’t feel intimidated. She stuck to her guns and today she’s an award-winning innovator heading a revolution in human communication. With herteam at Matsuko,the Košice- and Paris-baseddeep tech company that she co-founded, she is bringing virtual teleports to the everyday office space.

They are currently developing holographic software that will soon allow people on the opposing ends of the world to meet as holograms. The special “mixed reality” glasses they are working on should allow users to see the entire person they are talking to and feel like they are standing right next to them, regardless of the actual physical distance in between.

“I always wanted to create technology that could be both cool and essential for the whole world and know no borders,” Virčíková told The Slovak Spectator.

Her efforts and accomplishments were recently awarded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade. In September 2020, she stood on the virtual stage among 24 women as one of two Slovaks who received the European Tech Women Awards.

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“We managed to show Europe that women can succeed in the Slovak tech field,” she said. “And that highlights that we’re a modern country.”

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