Immersive Local VR: An Early View of Transformational Tech

This post is an excerpt of a longer post by BIA/Kelsey analyst Mitch Ratcliffe. You can read the entire post here.

Virtual reality is assumed to be a gaming technology and most people expect it to be proven first with game enthusiasts. But the real economic opportunity for VR lies in the enterprise and local engagement with customers, who will be able to step inside a computer-generated space to examine architectural plans, and employees who receive training in complex situations. At least, that’s the impression I came away with after visit to VR Studios’ office in Bellevue, Washington.

VRStudios constructs immersive spaces, a stage if you will into which the user steps wearing a wireless headset and armed with a pointing device that can double as a gun in first-person shooter settings. The stage is surrounded by a framework of PVC supported cameras that track the person in the virtual space, allowing them to walk freely from place to place in a way reminiscent of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Holodeck. Multiple people can wander in the VR space, each seeing what they would expect from their vantage point.

The company raised another $3 million in funding this past week, after announcing earlier in April that its technology will support the first immersive theme park, being built by Dubai-based Meraas Holdings. I saw a zombie shooter game, which the staff used between visitors, played with sweaty gusto.

Take a look at the VRStudios experience in this company video.

Mike Boland

Michael Boland is Chief Analyst and VP of Content for BIA/Kelsey, covering online and mobile media. Mike is a frequent speaker at top industry conferences such as BIA/Kelsey events, Search Engine Strategies, ad:tech, and WHERE 2.0. He has authored in-depth reports on the changing local media landscape including online video, social networking and mobile. He contributes regularly to highly read online news sources such as Business Insider and the Huffington Post. A trusted source for reporters covering the interactive media space, his comments have appeared in major news and trade media, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Forbes. Previously he was a San Francisco-based freelance writer for business and technology magazines, such as Red Herring, Business 2.0, and Mobile Magazine. Mike began his career in business analysis and journalism as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine, where he covered tech & media.