Technology

Troy based virtual reality company to reinvent itself

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Troy based virtual reality company to reinvent itself

Troy-based startup SpaceoutVR, Inc. will be reinventing itself as a blockchain technology company under the name Celestial Technologies, Inc., Dennis Adamo, current CEO and co-founder of SpaceoutVR, Inc., told The Alt. Previous CEO and co-founder V. Owen Bush will be leaving the company to continue his foray into virtual- and augmented-reality technologies.

Blockchain technology is how records of transactions are kept when people exchange digital currencies—also known as cryptocurrencies—like Bitcoin. It’s meant to be a safer way of ensuring information won’t be deleted or copied by someone else while also allowing people to trade online freely without a requiring a third party, according to Investopedia.

“We have a new strategy that addresses the core issues as to why consumer XR (VR/AR/MR) is lacking in the ability to keep app publishers, experiencers and co-creators incentivized and motivated to do great things,” said Adamo.

SpaceoutVR, Inc., founded in 2015, was a VR-focused technology company. It created the mobile app Spaceout.VR, a massive multiplayer online social VR experience that included the use of Space Stations that represents a person’s profile to interact with other users, rhythm game HEADBANGERZ, a Facebook module that let users view their photos in VR, and more.

Many VR companies have faced financial hurdles as VR app sales have underperformed, according to articles from Financial Times and TechCrunch based on reports from research companies.

“We saw massive investment into the hardware side of the business in 2015-2016,” said Adamo, referring to the growth of the VR industry. “Then a major push of platforms, protocols and tools. We have not seen the investment in content creation and software creation. This has led to a vicious circle and death-spiral for many developers and platform providers.”

Due to the lack of current financial growth in the VR industry, many companies like SpaceoutVR, Inc. are forced to finance themselves. Over the summer, one of the more well-known social VR apps, AltspaceVR, nearly shut down due to lack of funds.

“There is no way to make enough money in VR alone to sustain a VR B2C [business to consumer] start-up company. That would justify the cost of development. We need a network effect to create a revenue velocity, blockchain tokens are the answer,” said Adamo.

SpaceoutVR, Inc. won’t be completely leaving the VR industry but will be bringing these transactions to XR (an umbrella term for the different types of simulated realities) using blockchain technology.

The project they are working on, named CosmosFabric, will allow people to directly trade using blockchain tokens without having to go through the Apple Store, Google Play, and other VR store platforms that take a large percentage of the money made from apps. For example, if you were to download Minecraft (which costs $6.99) from the Apple Store, Apple would be getting a chunk of the money from that transaction.

CosmosFabric, essentially, is a marketplace where developers and their consumers will be able to openly communicate and exchange games, VR experiences, etc. without having to leave the Spaceout.VR app. SpaceoutVR, Inc. will be taking a two-percent fee of the transactions that occur within the app.

“This is a whole new way to transact with the four types of participants—publishers, experiencers, co-creators, and token holders,” said Adamo.

This means that the Spaceout.VR app won’t be shutting down in wake of the company’s reformation. The app will actually be the testing grounds of the CosmosFabric blockchain technology project.

“We are planning to create a blockchain backend for it to monetize. It has 30,000 active space stations, good reviews and a good following,” said Adamo. “We plan to evolve it into AR and MR using the same immersive content principles.”

Cryptocurrency has become an up-and-coming trend; recently the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed over $10,000, according to CNBC. Also, companies involved in cryptocurrency trade have made millions in months, the industry itself is self-regulated, and more people are becoming curious about cryptocurrency, said Adamo, referring to some of the research SpaceoutVR, Inc. has conducted to measure the success of blockchain technology.

“With 2.5 years of VR industry experience we needed to find a way to make things work,” said Adamo.

Previously, SpaceoutVR, Inc. was also known for selling their original name (daydream.io) to Google in 2016, which let Google brand their own VR headset as the Google Daydream. The company has been a part of the fast growing technology-based industry in Troy. Owen Bush chose not to comment about his leave from SpaceoutVR, Inc.

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