Glo is an interactive Bible that brings the text of the Scripture to life through HD video, high-res images, zoomable maps, 360-degree virtual tours, customizable Bible reading plans, and a natural user interface for fast, easy, visual navigation on Mac, PC, iPad, and iPhone.
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Born & raised in Brazil, Nelson Saba began his career as an aeronautical engineer, in international private banking and in successful worldwide business. Having no idea what his Aeronautical Technology & Engineering education in Airplane Design or his experience as a Vice President of Technology for International Private Banking at Citibank would eventually become, Nelson Saba has long had a call on his life beyond big business.
While most would never give up the success and position that Nelson had earned through long years of hard work and commitment to his high level position, once he came into a strong walk with the Lord, he knew that there was definitely something else. And he had full assurance about it.
Beyond what the world would call major success through professions and career, Nelson’s life was meant for much more.
In 1996, when most people had just started figuring out how to use their computers, Nelson began the journey of Interactive Bible Development and until 2000, he worked diligently to create what became iLumina, through his then business, Visual Books Production. The highly successful product, which was published through Tyndale, sold 160,000 copies in 3 months and has sold over 600,000 copies to date. iLumina put Saba on the map in faith-based Biblical product, but it was only the start for him.
Nelson would personally tell you that he has been given a deep vision to create projects which display his passion for communicating Scripture and has a one track focus to use the incredible gifts and talents that God has given him to create projects and tools such as iLumina and now GLO, which will enable change in the world and for this new digital generation to engage in and know Christ.
As Nelson sees it, in his walk with God and watching Him guide and lead him through these past few decades, “He’ll show you as you go…..” he says. And he readily admits that “He (God) did the math before he called you!”
And what Nelson has been currently called to do is the culmination of over a decade of work, sacrifice and giving literally everything he has to create a tool to reach this new generation with the literal Word of God. Nelson has teamed up with business partner Phil Chen, to form Immersion Digital, the platform and business entity which will release GLO, available in October 2009 through Zondervan.
In his own words:
"Two entire generations have been born in a digital world and favor digital media over any other… We really felt that the time was right to create a digital Bible such as GLO, designed for them, that would connect with this generation as an alternative to paper, because they don't use it." – Nelson Saba
GLO’s unprecedented digital platform was created as a Bible experience, which has already begun to revolutionize how Christians and non-Christians alike will consume Biblical/spiritual content through audio, video or web-based formats. According to Saba, the Bible is “re-imagined for a digital world.”
The ground-breaking GLO project combines the traditional text of the Bible with a variety of enhancing materials. These additional materials allow people to see and feel the Bible, rather than just reading it alone. The three-DVD set features five different lenses for easy navigation. The Bible, atlas, timeline, media and topical features allow the user to fully use the software and all of its capabilities. With high-definition video, animation and photographs, this technology creates an entirely new experience through the digital exploration of the Biblical word.
"We're not really just digitizing the Bible," Saba said. "We are creating a product with layers of functionality that will help make the Bible relevant and engaging to this generation."
But GLO is not just another “business venture” for Nelson. One of the greatest aspects of Immersion Digital and the products that are being created through the company, Nelson and Phil have a deep heart to “give back.” Through an already established charity outreach of Immersion Digital, they plan to give away a large portion of profits from the GLO project and many others to come, with a deep vision to see ministries supported through their work and any future God-given success.
With his passion, heart and commitment to use his unmatched God-given gifts for His glory in numerous ways, Nelson Saba may just change the world!
Phil Chen has extensive experience as a digital technology creator and visionary and has held numerous high profile professional positions throughout his career. Phil is also an ordained minister in Korea and attended Fuller Seminary to fulfill the calling he feels that God has put on his life, creating projects such as Glo and using his tech experience to create life-changing tools and resources for the world.
Coming from a long line of highly accomplished business and tech industry leaders and growing up being acutely aware of and familiar with great accomplishments and success, Phil himself has seen great achievements in his life, yet continues to know its source and where the credit lies.
Early on in his life, Phil studied at UCSD with a double major in physics and pure mathematics (B.S and B.A) and also studied Film at the Art Center of Design at Pasadena.
Phil worked as a Research Assistant at The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS) at UCSD in 2000 and 2001. This experience resulted in numerous major career opportunities to follow and in 2009 Phil founded Handstand, a content service for newspapers and magazines and now works at HTC (maker of the Google phone) heading the reader business development group, just a few of many professional highlights.
Through all of Phil’s family ties to major professional accomplishments, as well as his own unprecedented success, his deep motivation and the reason for his work is seen through the clear lens of his faith, his philanthropic/charity work and how his walk with God shapes His true life purpose.
From 2004-2007, Phil worked at a Korean NGO as a social worker, building schools, orphanages and digging water wells in places such as Afghanistan, Buenos Aires, Ghana, Tajikistan and China. The limits he had found in science and searching deeper spiritually through these experiences and the impact they had had on his life, he enrolled in Fuller Seminary and was ordained as a pastor in Korea in 2007.
Through the melding of all of his life experiences and through a new and deeper motivation of the heart, the passion for Glo was eventually birthed, which Phil sees as a unique integration of each of his diverse life experiences.
His vision for co-creating Glo along with Nelson Saba and his life mission are also motivated largely by a speech Phil heard by Rev. Billy Graham at a technology conference for top leaders in the field of technology, entertainment and design.
What Phil took away from the message for his own life course is what he heard Rev. Graham say about ‘how the latest and best technology, design, science etc. cannot not solve what Christ came to solve.’
The three things about human life: human suffering, human evil and human death cannot not be solved through the greatest work man can do, but according to Phil and what he learned from the speech by Rev. Graham , he believes that the Word of God through the Bible solves all of that.
Hence, his passion to co-create Glo as his most recent and important professional and personal endeavor.
“I believe Glo to be a technology and media company that is a steward to Christ and what Christ came to do for humankind,” says Phil. “Today, science, technology and design all aim to build sustainable energy, green energy, even business models that make sense for our environment and society. In the same way, Glo is a technology company designed for the human heart, the digital minister or missionary that communicates Christ in a new medium for a new century.”
According to Phil, with the things we see, touch, hear and interpret today, the Bible from its original native culture can often times feel distant.
“Glo takes you back and brings you closer in a friendly way to help you experience the beauty and truth of Scripture. We are just as thirsty for its wisdom and richness to navigate life today,” continues Phil. “Glo further endeavors to inspire every person’s participation in the grand story.”
So, for Phil Chen, all of the professional and worldly success holds no comparison to the vision for and the passion he feels and lives for. Through the creation of Glo, he is able to communicate to the world in a new way and to help him know his true call on his life.