Amsterdam, the infamous city situated in the beautiful little country of The Netherlands, has always been a hotbed for innovation. I recently read the aptly titled book “Amsterdam” by Russell Shorto, which contains a rich description of the city’s rebellious and liberal past, with references to the radical Dutch philosopher Spinoza, who laid the groundwork for the Enlightenment, and Amsterdam’s controversial drug policy to name just a few examples.
The cultural diversity and open-mindedness of the city offer a perfect mix for creativity to flourish. Companies like Rockstart, situated along the canals of the Herengracht, have helped dozens of people turn their big ideas into successful businesses. This heritage of innovation gave us the confidence to pursue the bold idea of building our own virtual reality (VR) camera system to shoot immersive video content for VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and the Gear VR.
Virtual reality.. why now?
We are living in amazing, exponential times. Yes, we have been talking about virtual reality for decades, but the required technology was prohibitively expensive, with VR headsets ranging between €30.000 and €100.000 just a couple of years ago, and the massive processing power required for VR was simply not available for the masses. All of this is about to change…
We are literally at a point where all the technological hurdles are gone. Oculus managed to built a €300 version of the €30.000 headset, and Google then upped the ante by revealing their €30 cardboard version. This massive price reduction, combined with significantly improved image quality, makes VR relevant for the mainstream for the first time in history. We started Purple Pill VR because we wanted to be at the front line when this disruptive technology hits the mass market.
A unique approach
Because virtual reality is such a brand new field – the consumer edition of the Oculus Rift is not expected to launch for another couple of months – the entire market is still open. Nevertheless, we noticed a definite trend towards gaming. This is understandable, because VR works great for games, since games are already created in 3D. However, we saw massive opportunities in creating compelling video experiences which place the viewer in the middle of the film, with the action happening all around him or her.
Jaunt is a Silicon Valley based startup which has so far gathered $36 million in funding to develop what they call “cinematic VR” content. They recently released their first couple of demos to the public. Because this field is so new, cameras to film virtual reality video content are not for sale, that’s why we developed our own VR camera technology and workflow. We are now one of the first companies in the world able to offer an end-to-end cinematic VR solution, from concepting and capturing to post-production and delivery of the content.
Interested to see how we can create a unique experience for your audience or do you want us to give a presentation on the topic of cinematic VR? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!