NASA and Caltech Alums Raise $3 Million to Create The Microsoft Excel of VR
Virtual reality can do a lot of things. It can make gaming incredible, communications immersive and education fun. Now, VR is conquering one more territory, big data, thanks to a new startup from a group of founders that include alums from NASA and the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
The company is called Virtualitics and it uses VR to turn digital 3D spaces into interactive data visualization platforms. This allows for what the company is calling “a simultaneous rendering of up to 10 dimensions, revealing multidimensional relationships present in data, which may not be discoverable in any other way.”
Virtualitics founders include:
Professor George Djorgovski, the founding director of Caltech’s Center for Data-Driven Discovery
Michael Amori, former Deutsche Bank managing director, Harvard MBA and Caltech alumnus
Ciro Donalek, computational scientist at Caltech
Scott Davidoff, manager of the Human Interfaces Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
In the days of yesteryear, when all we had were two dimensional screens, data had to be visualized in light of those constraints. Programs like Microsoft Excel, while incredibly versatile, are still limited by this legacy. In VR, however, these same data sets can be turned into visualizations that can be seen in a way that is much more natural to the human mind. This, according to an interview with the Virtualitics founders, will allow for “a more natural data/human interactions that allows large groups of data to be presented in a way that is instantly understandable to our brains.”
“Big Data is worthless if we cannot extract actionable knowledge from it,” Amori said. “Visualization can reveal the knowledge hidden in data, but traditional 2-D and 3-D data visualizations are inadequate for large and complex data sets. Our solution is to visualize as many as 10 dimensions in VR/AR all via a Shared Virtual Office, which allows even untrained users to spot patterns in data that can give companies a competitive edge.”
Virtualitics said it recently closed a $3 million seed round with funds from undisclosed angel investors. The program is currently in a private beta. To request an invite head on over the official website.