‘Envelop VR Has Closed’: Virtual Reality Productivity App Shuts Down

by Joe Durbin • January 11th, 2017

In an understated message on its website, the virtual reality productivity application, Envelop VR, today announced that it is permanently closed.

“Envelop VR has closed” is now the only thing interested parties will find on the website, along with an email address to reach out with questions. No further information about the closure was given and no official statements have yet been made. At the time of this writing, UploadVR has reached out to Envelop VR for comment, but the company has remained silent.

Envelop VR is an application designed to bring a user’s desktop into the virtual space. The idea being that the immersive power of VR would allow for more efficient and powerful workspaces as opposed to a 2D screen. Envelop VR was a well received app and was even nominated for our year end awards for 2016.

Prior to today, Envelop VR had operated in relative success. In 2016 it hosted the Immerse conference in Bellevue, Washington and it managed to raise a respectable $4 million in investment in October, 2015. The round was led by Madrnoa Venture Group and marked that fund’s first ever virtual reality investment. The company was led by Bob Berry who also runs a gaming company known as Uber Entertainment near Seattle.

One of the possible explanations is that the proclivity of other VR productivity apps, and the prospect of heavy-hitters entering the space, is what prompted this closure. Even in the very early days of consumer VR, there already exists a handful of desktop-immersing applications (Big Screen, Virtual Desktop, etc.), many of which seemed more popular with users than Envelop VR.

Looming on the horizon for VR/AR productivity is Microsoft. The gargantuan corporation has already begun cultivating it’s “Windows Holographic” platform, which will eventually provide many of the same services that Envelop VR was offering.

Today’s news is the second significant VR shuttering in the past three months. In November of last year, 360 video company VRideo closed down citing growing overhead and limited funding.

 

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  • Eric Nevala

    I knew this would happen a long time ago (like 18 months ago). Despite that, I’m sad to be right. The next prediction: EnvelopVR won’t be the last non-gaming VR company to shut down in the next 2 years. I would expect 75% of non-gaming VR companies to shut their doors in the next 2 years: Why? Because the VR market is not mature / developed enough for non-gaming applications yet. Companies trying to get into the non-gaming VR space are going to burn through their cash reserves via operating expenses before the market is big enough to bring them an income which is sustainable.

    • elev8d

      Well there are plenty of non-gaming applications like 3D modeling that will be very successful. “Productivity” apps like this one are just a little to ahead of their time because the resolution and visual fidelity are not yet there yet for reading information and data easily. 3D visualization of data would be interesting, but I think it would be merely a gimmick until it’s easier to interact with the data in VR.

  • In digital world, things keep changing, new day, new surprises!

  • If you want an alternative, try SPACE by Pygmal Technologies.

    • Stephen Jones

      SPACE is quite nice, will keep an eye on it as it develops.

  • As a VR startupper, this is a very sad news for me. What I can’t get is why they closed down. If you have 4 Millions of investments (I’d be happy to have one tenth of their money!) and visibility (I’d be happy to have even a short line on UploadVR, they got an award) and you see potential big competitors, you pivot, i.e. you change your business model, change a bit your product, you go to a niche. But closing is a non-sense. I guess they faced other problems, too

  • Valentine

    I bought Envelope VR last year, played it few times and abandoned.

    The problem is that current headsets (I have HTV Vive but the rest basically the same) should have bigger resolution in order to replace desktop displays.

    Sorry to hear that they drop support and so but we should really wait till next or even later VR headset releases for such applications.

  • Roland

    Reading text content in current gen VR headset is horrible because of the limited resolution and field of view. Even with a higher resolution, without eye tracking only center part of the view is clear.

  • VR AR MR

    Hard Luck!
    Beloved #VR #VirtualReality companies,
    HARD REALITY: If u wanna keep moving n growing, get upgraded to #MixedReality #MR
    Good Luck!

  • Eric Dean Campbell

    I was one of the testers before and after the name change…. the software was broken at least on my end – on a new computer with a fresh build of win 10. Also the uninstaller did not work correctly, requiring manual deletion and removal of registry entries.
    When the issues were reported, the reply was “I don’t think we can fix this”. That’s a quote.
    I assumed the software would be retooled, but no, it was released.
    I imagine the failure rate on this software was excessively high with no resolution. I’m not sure the investors would have been made aware of the bad code.