We’re an agency that pushes boundaries with technology.
About Us
When the world’s top brands need help leveraging emerging technologies they come to us. Our team of Caltech and Harvard grads is passionate about using groundbreaking technology to solve our client’s most challenging problems. We conceive, we design, we deliver.

Our highly personal approach to problem solving goes deep into each client’s industry, history, and vision for the future to create solutions that add value and forge new paths.
Advanced Technology is our Baseline
Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision
  • Reality Capture
Smart Matter
  • Sensors
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Autonomous Vehicles
Experiential Interfaces
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Gaming
Advanced Computation
  • Simulation
  • Cloud Computing
  • Blockchain
We Take Innovation As Seriously As the Brands We Work With
Ariel Horn
Global Head of eSports Content, Riot Games
I consider Vain right at the top of my list of favorite agencies to work with ever. I have thrown them some crazy curves and they consistently VOLTRON a solution that connects and delights. Steven sets the tone with his combination of approachable genius and desire to break new ground in everything he does.
Matt Wolf
Former Head of Global Gaming, The Coca-Cola Company
Steven and the folks at Vain possess deep domain expertise in their areas of focus but beyond that, have the ability to execute with precision and quality on a consistent basis.
Alain Demour
Head of Product and Technology, Groupon
Steven will change your perception of reality and of what is possible. He can effortlessly integrate technologies which would take you a lifetime to understand with pop-culture and a post modern aesthetics, see a path where you see nothing, can produce small miracles in no time but more importantly he is just a great person to work with.
Adam Chapman
Director of Interactive Technology, Technicolor
Vain was everything I wanted from a service provider. They communicated clearly, reliably delivered their work, and made the project better by bringing their own insight to both product and engineering. I would happily work with them again.
Noah Young
VP Digital Marketing, 20th Century Fox
A phenomenal developer, and an absolute pleasure to work with.
Our Hearts Are in the Work
20th Century Fox
Robots React
Fox needed an epic idea to publicize their film Morgan. We delivered. Our team contacted a couple of expert roboticists from MIT and the University of Pisa asked if their robots liked scary movies. Over the next several months we helped Edi and FACE discover their love of cinema. The result was the world’s first robots reaction video that quickly racked up over a million views.
Lineman VR
With some hologram help from our friends at 8i we’re helping Pike Corporation transform linemen training by harnessing the power of virtual reality. Our incredibly lifelike simulation allows new and veteran line workers the opportunity to practice life threatening procedures in a safe environment.
Machinima Commercials
Microsoft wanted to take advantage of the thriving audience for Machinima to launch an ad campaign that would speak to Visual Studio users, but they weren’t sure how. That’s where we came in. We built a video game engine specifically for animating the ads in real time. The result was a hilarious ad campaign that resonated with geeks like us.
Sama Learning
Interactive Chemistry
We partnered with a chemistry PhD with a passion for education to build an interactive tool that lets college and high school chemistry students get up close and personal with science. Giving students the power to build and peer into molecules boosted their understanding of the subject matter. In early studies students from Stanford and UC Irvine saw a full letter improvement in their grades.
Content Distribution Simulation
With one of the largest catalogs of intellectual property in the world Disney needed to understand potential flows of protected IP through the home content ecosystem. Together we evaluated the technological landscape and built a proprietary copyright simulation environment that helped Disney provide new ways for consumers to access their content, while minimizing piracy.
Greatness Isn't Built Overnight
Steven Schkolne earned his PhD from Caltech in 2003 by building the first full body painting system for virtual reality. After nearly a decade of working as a hired gun on high-tech projects for the likes of Disney, BMW, and Microsoft, in 2010 Steven founded Vain Media to bring passionate, like-minded individuals together behind a common cause. The early focus of the business was on deploying high-end mobile marketing experiences for big brands.

This direction was a massive success, with our reputation for on-time, perfect execution resulting in a number of high-profile projects that garnered tens of millions of impressions for major motion pictures (Anchorman 2, Django Unchained, the X-Men series).

The team also explored rich applications in the form of ‘advertising products’ in app form for the likes of Tylenol, L’Oreal, and Coca-Cola. This phase of the business sharpened our scale deployment techniques as well as capabilities in design and user experience.

These large scale marketing deployments, however, left advanced technology out of the mix. In 2015 Dr. Schkolne regrouped the business to focus on his latent passion for working at the forefront of technology. A new leadership team comprised of the brightest minds from Caltech and Harvard discovered a new gap in the ecosystem between value generated by startup tech platforms, and the needs of established concerns. Now with an expanded mission, The Vain Company makes future tech a present, profitable reality for innovative companies in a variety of market segments.
Keep Vain Company
Steven Schkolne
Carnegie Mellon B.S., Caltech M.S. P.h.D
Advanced Technology / Interaction Design
Jerry Feng
Caltech B.S.
Algorithms / Systems Architecture
Sara Schkolne
Harvard B.A.
Research / Concepts / Experience Design
Let’s talk
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