If you’ve watched any 360 degree videos inside a VR HMD over the past few years there’s a good chance it was from Vrse. Today, the company is announcing a new name and the completion of a Series A round of funding.
From today onwards the group will be known as Within. Not only that, but it’s raised some $12.56 million in funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz and aided by 21st Century FOX. It’s a big change, but you can expect Within to keep producing the same immersive VR content that’s already won it so much recognition. That includes pieces like Clouds Over Sidra, which was filmed with the aid of the UN to help raise awareness to the ongoing refugee crisis as people flee war-torn Syria.
So why the name change? In a new blog post studio CEO Chris Milk explained the move. He noted that VR enabled viewers to move “within” stories using something as a simple Google Cardboard. The new branding reflects that potential. “To us, the new name represents storytelling as human experience,” he said. “We hope you like it.” He also stated that the funding would help the group achieve its vision for where it can take VR in the future.
Milk also confirmed that the Vrse app available on iOS, Android and Gear VR will be updated to support the new name. Today also sees the Within app launch on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, while the company has even confirmed that it will be releasing on PlayStation VR, making it the first 360 app to be announced for the console-based HMD. If these new apps are any like the mobile ones, then they’ll be available as free downloads with a library of 360 degree content to pick from.
“It’s been a crazy journey so far — and it’s only going to get better,” Milk concluded. “We hope you’ll join us in leaving behind “once upon a time” about “those people, over there” — and start experiencing every story as “us, here, now.””
We hope so too.