New Zealand startup realityvirtual.co has just been awarded the sudden funding from American video game and software giant Epic Games, creators of the popular video game, Fortnite. The grant is just one of several large sums stemming from a whopping NZD$164 million (USD$100 million) fund for people doing amazing things with Unreal Engine.
Aotearoa Discovered: Imagine being able to visit the most beautiful and culturally significant locations in New Zealand and elsewhere, with your friends and family, without leaving the comfort of your living room. This is what NZ-based startup realityvirtual.co makes possible. Users will be immersed in photorealistic NZ scenes, interactively exploring them together in Virtual Reality (VR)
Project deepMIrror: In the age of covid-19, realityvirtual.co is repackaging and rapidly deploying their prior deep learning and volumetric video technologies into what can only be described as an extremely immersive one-on-one video conferencing experience. “One can describe the experience as being not too different from that of speaking between a sheet of glass, you're in their 3D space and they are in yours, you share not just eye contact but light itself. We feel this is a gift that me action immediately!” states Mr de Boer.
realityvirtual.co is one of only two NZ companies to win such an award. “Honestly. This brought me to tears, it’s been a hard many years for us struggling to make our case heard”, realityvirtual.co’s CEO Simon De Boer says referring to years of unique pioneering research and development in 4D, 5D.
realityvirtual.co is known for their immersive VR experiences from around the world, such as the Large Hadron Collider, and Queen Nefertari & King Tutankhamun's Tombs in Egypt. They won the prestigious Lumiere Award for best VR Educational Experience in 2020.
Founder and CEO Simon Che de Boer, the eccentric man at the helm, is an internationally renowned photogrammetrist and VR content creator. He has received international media recognition for the quality of his photo-realistic virtual experiences from Forbes, TechCrunch and other reputed publications featuring De Boer’s work. Many notable players of the Visual Effects (VFX) industry refer to such VR projects to demonstrate the potential of this new immersive medium.
This round of funding will be used to improve the process of making virtual copies, and allow them to upscale, or better render existing models of places and digitize many more beautiful NZ locations, including picturesque beaches, places of natural beauty and historic buildings including Saint Matthews Cathedral, Sir James Wallace Homestead, with a lot more is planned they are accepting suggestions from the public.
The experiences will be distributed for free on the ubiquitous games platform STEAM. Although current travel restrictions make it difficult for people to physically come to New Zealand, they will soon be able to be in the country virtually, and see it in a way that has never been experienced before.
The technology from realityvirtual.co relies heavily on deep learning, machine learning and the latest in mixed reality technologies. They are working closely with Epic Games, Amazon Web Services, NVIDIA and other parties, to make these technologies available to all.