Now that the entire virtual reality space has gotten a big boost from Facebook’s $2 billion deal to buy Oculus, who’s next?
Maybe it’s Survios, a company that was came out of the very same University of Southern California Mixed Reality Lab that Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey came from.
Right now, virtual reality is pretty stationary: you sit there, put on a headset and are transported to an entirely new world.
But with Survios, it’s like a Kinect-meets-Oculus Rift. You’re moving around, pulling virtual arrows of your back, whipping around a tommy gun and unholstering pistols from your virtual side pockets all by moving around your hands.
To say the least, the experience is incredible. You really do feel like an action hero, like Neo in the Matrix or like you’ve woken up inside of “28 Days Later.” (Watch the video, please. I can’t really describe it in words.)
Co-founders James Iliff and Nathan Burba have put together a Rift, some Sixense wired motion-sensing controllers and a PlayStation Move, then built several games including a shooting range and a first-person-shooter in a zombie apocalypse. (I actually felt so terrified when I was cornered by virtual zombies that I yelled at them to take it off.)
“You really need to feel like you’re inside of a body and have control of your hands and arms,” Burba said. “That brings it to the next level.”
Burba and Iliff plan to build their own head-mounted device instead of relying on the Rift. They plan to be way more focused on hard-core gaming experiences than Oculus, which is on the path toward being more of a platform especially with the Facebook acquisition. (Luckey is an advisor, so there’s a lot of good will and energy between the two companies.)
While there are no hard dates on a product launch, they said to look for it in 2015. By then, the product should be a lot sleeker without a heavy battery backpack or the angler fish look. Survios has raised $250,000 so far, but I imagine a venture round is probably happening real soon for them if they aren’t already inundated with term sheets.