- 24 November 2016
VRee BV, a Netherlands-based startup dedicated to creating a more immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, has secured a seed investment from the Brabant Development Agency (BOM) and startup accelerator LUMO labs. VRee is the developer of the world’s first platform to enable real-time full-body tracking, opening the door to active VR eSports and numerous applications in the gaming and simulation-training industries.
How much money is involved, was not disclosed. VRee will use the funds to further develop its revolutionary platform, which involves hiring more programmers and visual designers at its Eindhoven-based headquarters. The company will also invest in sales and marketing to reach out to content developers and event centers and explain to them how they can use VRee’s technology to create a more immersive VR experience.
“With VRee, players from across the world can actively compete with each other in a virtual environment, which means they can move freely and with their complete body (from head to toe) in real time,” VRee CEO Andy Lürling said. “We’ve already demoed our platform to a limited group of VR insiders who unanimously agree that the opportunities for eSports competitions, event centers and training and simulation providers are limitless. This investment allows us to demonstrate our capabilities to a wider circle of early adopters.”
The VRee platform traces its roots back to a VR archery game, which was developed in 2014 as part of a student project at the Fontys Hogeschool Eindhoven. After graduation, the company’s two founders Menno Bischops and Roy Noten teamed up with current CEO Andy Lürling, who helped them pivot from a content to a platform company.
Starting next year, VRee aims to license its technology to content and hardware developers, which can use its software development kit (SDK) to enhance the VR experience of their users. The platform works seamlessly with VR peripherals such as motion-capture suits, headsets, controllers and gloves from different vendors. All data from these devices is sent to VRee’s cloud-based platform, where its proprietary algorithms create an integrated VR experience that’s shown on users’ head-mounted displays (HMDs). Another unique element is the way VRee tracks the position of players, which is handled through its algorithms rather than the commonly used line of sight technology. This essentially means players don’t have to stay within a field of sensors, giving them the benefit of a virtually limitless playing environment.
“Given the presence of world-class high tech companies and excellent technical students, the Brabant region provides a lot of opportunity for developers of VR/AR platforms,” commented Miriam Dragstra, Director of BOM Capital. “VRee perfectly demonstrates the strength of our region, and we are pleased to support these promising entrepreneurs in reaching their full potential.”
LUMO labs founder Sven Bakkes: “With VRee we have a great example of driven visionary entrepreneurs with incredible focus. They developed a very scalable technology, which enables a business model with multiple applications and revenue streams. That’s why we, as LUMO labs, decided to support this high-potential startup.”
To demonstrate the strength of the platform, VRee has developed a virtual Frisbee game called VRisb. As of next year, the company will license its product to event centers in and outside the Netherlands where people can go to play the first VRee-enabled games, including VRisb, and experience what it’s like to move around in a limitless virtual world using their full body.
Source: press release BOM