Nomadic nabs $6M for its modular VR system for retail spaces

Virtual reality might be a bit too expensive for home use to take off right now, but for consumers going to dedicated retail spaces to experience it there has to be an added something to make it worth their while.

In its quest to build location-based retail experiences that users can physically feel, Nomadic has had to get its hands on some capital. The company announced today that it has closed a $6 million round of seed funding led by Horizons Ventures. Presence Capital, Maveron, Vulcan Capital, and Verus International also participated in the round.

The company’s technology allows users to don VR headsets and PC backpacks and freely roam around a modular play space that is mapped to a gaming experience. When a user sees a chair in VR they can sit in it in the real world, while physical objects can be picked up in-game thanks to infrared markers and cameras. The whole experience is a more purposeful rebake of the kitschy 4D cinema experiences of the 90s, enabling virtual reality to grow more immersive thanks to tactile feedback in physical spaces.

I had a chance to venture through one of the experience myself, which you can read more about here: “Nomadic wants to bring VR you can feel to your local movie theater”

The startup isn’t the lone wolf in this category of location-based VR experience, but while competitors like The Void are focused on establishing dedicated VR warehouse spaces for projects like their NYC Ghostbusters experience, Nomadic’s aims are set more on getting into existing retail spaces through hocking a modular setup that will allow for easy installations and conversions.

Nomadic is looking at spaces like “cinemas, malls, resorts, airports, casinos, theme parks” and others to implement their immersive entertainment tech. While the startup hasn’t shared any details regarding partnership yet, it has been detailed that the launch of its first location-based experiences should take place in the first quarter of 2018.