That’s why I love being a virtual reality startupper
Since the end of 2014 I’m fully committed in trying to set up a virtual reality startup called Immotionar, whose focus is trying to push further all current limitations of virtual reality, giving the user the ability to see all his/her avatar and use all his/her body to interact with the virtual world, thanks to the use of off-the-shelf sensors like Microsoft Kinects. It has been a long ride since now, full of stress, fatigue and pain, but I never regret this choice because actually I’m doing the best job of the world.
What is so good about being a virtual reality startupper?
First of all, you’re working in a complete new field. This means that everything you do, can somehow set the path for the future of the technology. We virtual reality innovators are all part of a big brain that is making this technology evolve: surely big companies are the one that in the end make the greatest innovations, but I’m quite sure they’re taking lots of inspirations from feedbacks on communities, from projects of little teams (like ours) and so on. It’s a new field and we’re making it evolve and it’s great. Some time ago, a very great company like VRideo closed. VRideo was making something like the Youtube for virtual reality and I think that their great platform has inspired a lot big players to enter the VR video market. This has been in the end the death of VRideo (it couldn’t compete with giants like Youtube or Facebook), but it has also been the reason why I will always remember them, because they’ve made virtual reality better. In their farewell letter, they talk about this exact thing: they say “ It’s been a privilege to play a role, however small, in the emergence of this new medium”. At Immotionar we have the same thought: don’t know if we will ever shut down, but we hope to have inspired with our work the evolution of VR, the urge to add the full body to the virtual experience.
Another great thing is being an evangelist: I’ve made lots of friends to try virtual reality for the first time and seeing the eyes of a person removing the headset after having tried VR for the first time, is a priceless experience. It’s like if you have given this person a new life, it’s a true satisfaction. You can see a new light in their eyes, a special smile on their lips and you know that they will remember that moment forever and that they will remember that this have been only thanks to you. Unluckily (for this point of view) now VR is becoming always more mainstream, so I’m meeting more and more people telling me that they’ve already tried VR, so finding VR virgins to astonish is becoming difficult… but now that I have my Oculus Touch, I’ll have something new to make them smile again that way :)
And it’s awesome talking with other VR enthusiasts on reddit and other communities: there is so much activity, so many ideas to talk about, so many opinions to share. It’s like a pot full of boiling ideas. I’ve also opened my VR blog to talk about virtual reality and to share with everyone my expertise. And it’s so great when I meet person that are smarter than me and teach me something new about Unity or virtual reality.
What I see is also the passion of people that helps us, even for free, just because they believe in this technology. We’ve our little group of fans and they’re awesome in supporting us, even if we’re a little company because they truly believe in VR, they truly believe in our vision. VR is full of sincerely passionate people that want to be part of the “big brain” process, even without having nothing in return. This really moves us a lot and that’s why I love communities so much.
Last thing is the ability to have success. VR is a new unexplored space, so we all have still the ability to make the next killer app, to set a new standard, to have success making something new. Other environments, like smartphone apps, are so crowded that everything you do has been already made by other 100 people and so just falls into obscurity. With VR there are so many unexplored thing that there are truly lots of business opportunities, lots of spaces where to use your creativity.
We’re trying to exploit that creativity in making our full body virtual reality solution and we’ve just released our first game, with a very cool trailer…
…don’t know if this will end well, but I’ve surely had a great time in my life. And I will continue having it, for sure ;)