The world is more connected than it has ever been. We are used to being able to contact friends, family and business partners all over the world without needing to leave our PC chairs. Conversely, one of the criticisms of virtual reality (VR) is that it is inherently isolating as an experience.
Pluto VR is one company that is seeking to overcome this problem by implementing social media aspects into the VR experience. Based in Seattle and founded by one of the co-founders of casual videogaming giant PopCap, John Vechey. Pluto VR was initially exploring several avenues of development, but one that seems to have stuck is a social overlay for helping VR users connect with each other. The system allows VR users who may be involved in totally different experiences to still communicate without needing to access a specific social space.
“The purpose of Pluto is to help humanity transcend physical location,” Vechey said in a statement. “While digital technologies today allow us to connect instantly from anywhere in the world with text, voice or video, they aren’t necessarily bringing us closer together. With Pluto, you’ll be able to connect with anyone anywhere, as if you were together in person.”
The company just announced the closing of a Series A funding round, which resulted in Pluto VR receiving $13.9 million (USD) of funding, lead by venture capitalist firm Maveron, who told Geekwire: “We see this as a way in which people interact with the world around them; with each other; with entertainment; with work.”
The funding will allow Pluto VR to continue to hire more staff and rolling the social VR app to more users for testing. The social app is currently in its Alpha phase, and VR developers can try the current build for themselves through the Pluto VR website.
VRFocus will bring you further news on Pluto VR and other VR start-ups when it comes in.