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“Imagination Requires Space” How A Rock N’ Roller Became A Pioneer In Digital Technology

“I kept erring on the side of imagination and creativity”


“I kept erring on the side of imagination and creativity”

I had the pleasure to interview Finbar OHanlon, Founder and Inventor of Linius Video Technology. Finbar is passionate about lifestyle design and human intelligence, ‘people’ whose abilities and functions are a by-product of passion. People who are enhanced by technologies such as Artificial intelligence ‘Ai’, not threatened by them. Finbar has been granted 12 Patents, relating to media related technologies. As a musician Finbar toured globally and recorded and played with members of bands such as Limp Bizkit and the Cure. As a composer he scored the music to local and international films. The following is a loose transcription of our conversation.

Thank you for joining us Finbar. Can you share the story of how you started as a rock and roller and ended up as a pioneering technologist?

Like a lot of people, I didn’t find my feet until I stopped trying to find my feet. I found it in difficult, very difficult to fit in. I kept erring on the side of imagination and creativity with things like school. They tried to push me into things like logic and pure memory monster. I understood the value for these things and could perform them. At least I thought so.

The way the early education or the formal education system tried to teach me did not resonate with the way that I learn. I learn with the power of reverse engineering. Taking something from its end and working back. This is just not the way that the formative education system works or at least worked when I was young.


I was born in the late sixties in Liverpool, England, moving to Australia when I was 10. One of my uncles worked at Cern in Switzerland, pioneering some of the first nuclear particle acceleration systems in Geneva. Another one of my uncles was a drummer who worked with bands like the Rolling Stones before he emigrated to Australia.

I was looking for that inspiration. Something to cling to.

Personally, I was looking for that inspiration. Something to cling to. That was when I first found the guitar. I started practicing and practicing, skipping school, playing up to eight hours a day nonstop until the age of about 16 where I’d worked with some of the greatest jazz guitarist in Australia, rock guitarists in Australia. I knew my passion to be in the music business, entertainment industry. So I did the usual. I enrolled in singing, dancing lessons. I performed in lots of TV commercials and acted in a few movies, but music was really truly where it was.

At the age of 17, I left school and was put into a band by major record label in Australia called Mushroom Records. It then became touring and charting on the Australian top 40 charts. That is quite good for a young 17 year old kid. I was living the life of a true young Rockstar, like top of the line.

We got a lot of attention and I started seeing getting endorsements from lots of companies, one being Jackson Guitars of the USA. I started performing guitar clinics, demonstrating these guitars all over Australia and then different parts of the world for these companies. I also started teaching at the Australian Institute of Music, teaching the Berkeley jazz system. In my spare time between touring, I’ve always been someone that always wanted to keep learning and keep pushing and breaking new creative ground.

I released my first instrumental solo album called The Elements in 1994 and was featured as one of Australia’s greatest guitarist back then.


Since then, I’ve gone on to play with many very famous musicians and artists from around the world. I’ve got to writing soundtracks for films, play on different albums and I’ve worked with people like Paul Thompson from the Cure, John Otto from Limp Biscuit and have worked and got investments from other major artists. I’ve also worked on collaborative projects with people like Dave Stewart from the Arrhythmia.

I started getting sick of the touring, the teaching, and doing multiple guitar clinics playing and demonstrating guitars, just being I sort of guitar monkey

Around 1994. I started getting sick of the touring, the teaching, and doing multiple guitar clinics playing and demonstrating guitars, just being I sort of guitar monkey, showing everyone the technical skills. I just got bored with that. I just had to keep moving on into new paradigms and new areas,

I became part of a team that built one of Australia’s biggest music retail outlets. Revolver Music Gallery. It also had rehearsal studios and a nightclub upstairs which is pretty rare these days. This is still carrying on to this day.

From there built an advertising agency called The Fuel Agency. From there I started learning about interactive multimedia and I set up different businesses creating websites, doing interactive CD Rom’s with 360 degree vr.

From there on, I moved into a teaching facility, starting to teach people how to do great graphics, video, audio. I met some great talent from around Australia. Like all of a sudden Tony Coleman and I formed a team that produced all of these lessons at a studio that I’ve built with the support of companies like apple and Avid.

From there , I did work for Apple and Avid teaching and being support to high end video and audio post production. I left the stagelight of the nineties. I got really bored with that. I started venturing into software development.

My first software was designed for Telcos, delivered media through their network. Nortel flew me to North America to demonstrate the software, which then got deployed.

Then I kept looking for different avenues and pushing different boundaries. I was very interested in the video space. I started working with a group in Australia called Vividas.

And at the end of the day that vehicle, moved me into a new space which was to build my own video technology, which is called Linnaeus. I invented a technology that transforms the way the world deals with video. People look at video as a video file, but it’s actually not. It’s a structure of data. I built a technology that allows big data to be the programmatic force that programs and produces content for an individual without rendering. Now that’s a long explanation, but very simply, it’s the ability for artificial intelligence to produce a show for an individual in literally seconds without all the processes required for today’s modern technology. Not only that, it’s a lot more secure and it enhances things like typical blockchain applications.

This constant quest for knowledge, learning, connection, networks and making a contribution, has led me on this journey where I’ve raised over $40,000,000. You know, I’ve gotten multiple exits that have been part of different markets across the world. My current company, Linnaeus is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has a value of around $100,000,000. I have about 14 granted patents in my name.

I have another technology company with Ahmet Zappa around the utilization of sound frequencies to create a human outcome. Most sound technologies like Dolby true sound great. But I’m there to create a sonic environment to place you in the middle of an environment. What weI have done is tap into how we change neural responses. Human based sound frequencies and the manipulation of those sound frequencies can impact everything from how do we calm down at night? How do we actually make people more energized and more excited at the gym? How do we make people’s stay in a shop longer? How do we make troops in the battlefield be on at the right time and being able to be relaxed and recuperate at the right time to try to stop things like ptsd.

It’s sort of like the Raiders of The Lost Ark — that by challenging the norms and questioning everything, you can uncover hidden treasures

From there I moved into a lot of consulting and a lot of high end things. We are working on projects with UCLA where they’re working on digital microfluidics with the department of environment, land, water and planning. They’re looking at drones to be able to manage Koala sanctuaries forest burning and soil erosion. It’s all very, very fascinating.

My backstory is this constant pursuit of finding the unknown. It’s sort of like the Raiders of The Lost Ark — that by challenging the norms and questioning everything, you can uncover hidden treasures.

Originally published at medium.com

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