Earlier this month virtual reality (VR) specialists Wevr announced some big news. First up, the group has raised from $25 million USD through a new round of seed funding, with the help of investors like HTC and Samsung. On top of that, a new software portal was also announced in the form of Wevr Transport. This new hub will allow VR users access to the company’s own content along with that which it has helped incubate such as Irrational Exuberance.
VRFocus got the chance to speak with Wevr about both announcements recently. Below is a full interview with company co-founder and CEO, Neville Spiteri. The developer talks about the reasoning behind creating Wevr Transport instead of simply releasing apps individually, as well as discussing how its new investments will help it expand.
VRFocus: How will the new round of funding help to push Wevr’s work forward?
Neville Spiteri (NS): This strategic investment enables us to accelerate development of our Transport platform technology, as well as invest in building the community of VR creatives that will ultimately bring VR to the masses with their content.
VRFocus: With so many different types of projects and initiatives going on under the studio’s name? How would you describe Wevr to the average consumer?
NS: Wevr makes award winning content and we are the developers of Transport, a VR network for creatives and their audiences.
We say that at Wevr, we are a unique mix of talent comprised of Academy Award-winning artists, veteran game software engineers, interactive designers, product makers, and audience builders. We’re all working together, and collaborating with the VR creative community to create brave VR and share it with fans.
VRFocus: Why did you feel the need to create Wevr Transport rather that releasing its content as individual apps?
NS: With a variety of VR devices and HMDs hitting the market, it becomes increasingly difficult to discover interesting new VR content. Transport is the most effective way to serve the burgeoning VR space and help build a community by providing a core set of services to both makers and consumers. Transport acts as a place for VR makers to publish and showcase their work with ease, and the place for those who want to experience that content no matter what device they’re using.
VRFocus: To clarify, is Wevr Transport exclusively for VR film or will it also include interactive experiences like Irrational Exuberance?
NS: Transport will host a variety of content from VR makers, whether the source is a game engine, video camera, or web code. So yes, Transport is an ideal network for VR creatives making interactive experiences.
VRFocus: Will it be up to content developers to adjust content for specific head-mounted displays?
NS: It depends. Most interactive 360-degree video and CG experiences will run across devices automatically — this is the advantage of the high performance interoperable Transport Engine and the open VR media format we will be sharing with the community. With game engine-based experiences, of course, you have to build differently if you’re targeting mobile or PC/console devices.
VRFocus: What are the chances we’ll see the platform on PlayStation VR?
NS: Transport is in its early stages but it will eventually see support for PlayStation VR.
VRFocus: Speaking of Irrational Exuberance, how many other projects can we expect to see from Wevr’s incubation system?
NS: A TON of exciting projects ahead!