Though virtual reality (VR) has led to huge success for some, others are still trying to get to grips with the technology, or experiencing some hiccups along the way. One of those is 8i, who are having to undergo significant restructuring, resulting in roughly half of its staff being let go.
8i is a start-up with offices in Los Angeles and New Zealand who are aiming to leverage VR technology and real-time rendering to create realistic hologram images of celebrities. 8i previously released a compilation of its technical demonstrations to show the progress that has been made in its efforts.
According to Variety, 8i have been forced to lay off almost half of its 70-strong team as a result of the company restructuring required by New Zealand regulations that go along with significant workplace changes.
A company representative said in a statement to TechCrunch: “Although we’ve made significant progress, we are continuously challenging our assumptions about where the AR/VR market is headed and how it will develop. And like any early stage company we need to be honest with ourselves and our employees about what kind of company we should build and how fast we need to grow. Consequently, we are consulting internally on a proposal for changes to our organization that would align our teams and resources with important core technology initiatives that create the most long term value.”
Earlier this year, TimeWarner led a $27 million (USD) investment in 8i to assist in growing the company. Some experts noted that the company already faces an uphill battle with the technology requirements for some complex real-time graphical rendering, and now it will need to continue that work with fewer staff.
“This is incredibly hard as we are saying goodbye to valued members of our team who have helped build 8i into the company it is today,” 8i said. “While this is hard, the streamlining of our business is crucial to remaining nimble as we empower our world-class team to continue to deliver industry leading breakthroughs and advance the world’s leading format of volumetric video.”
Further news on 8i and other VR startups will be right here on VRFocus.