One of the biggest roadblocks to VR content creation right now is how complicated it can be, but there’s a small subsection of the industry developing platforms that make creating VR content a bit easier. Not every application demands the experience that more complex applications and games require to make and developers of these more accessible platforms understand that those not well versed in VR creation could benefit from a streamlined way to make their own content.
Viro Media is supplying a platform of their own and their hope is to be the simplest experience where companies can code once and have their content available on multiple mobile platforms. We chatted with Viro Media CEO Danny Moon about the tool and what creators can expect to accomplish with it.
Utilizing the React framework and a proprietary rendering engine, Viro Media puts a collection of tools in the hands of developers along with a quick guide that gets them started in roughly 10 minutes. The platform eliminates the need to code for multiple devices, working out of the box for Google Daydream, Gear VR, and Google Cardboard for iOS and Android.
“We are launching publicly to gain mindshare and make companies aware that there is a great new tool out there for them to build VR experiences,” says Viro Media CEO Danny Moon. Viro Media launched only this month so we’ll have to wait to see what creators outside of Viro can put together, but the internal team has done some work to show just what the platform is capable of. The demo video shows off six very different industries represented by unique VR apps:
Real Estate—Interactive home tours with 360 and panoramic photos
Travel—Immersive photos and videos that transport users to new destinations
Entertainment—Custom theaters or virtual environments for users to consume media
Education—Engaging and interactive lessons to tackle even the toughest concepts
News and Storytelling—Showcase stories with mixed media on a virtual canvas
Retail and e-Commerce—Let customers interact with products in 3D before purchase
All of these will no doubt be utilized in different ways by different teams but, considering the simplified experiences, are creators horribly limited in what they can make?
“We don’t yet support the photo-realistic lighting and high-end physics you might find in some game engines,” says Moon. “However, we do make it vastly simpler to build a wide variety of VR applications, from interactive photo experiences to full-fledged navigable scenes with 3D assets and lighting. The platform is meant to encourage a wide variety of experiences, and we’ll continue to add features, but one priority of ours will always be to make building simple things simple while enabling complexity where it’s needed.”
In addition to the launch of Viro Media’s creative platform, Viro’s press release confirmed that they’ve raised $2.5 million in a seeding round led by Softbank/SBNY, Eniac Ventures, and Lowercase Capital. Moon says that the team has “an ambitious roadmap over the next year” and the funding will be going toward fleshing out that vision. Head to their website if you’re ready to start creating mobile VR apps