It must be admitted, we were all expecting a paradigm shift with the explosion of 3D movies. However, in the end, the new technology never picked up steam and not enough content was created for it to catch on widely. This does not seem to be the case when it comes to virtual reality, which is experiencing growing enthusiasm, thanks to the much stronger experience it provides and the many accessories available for enhancing the unique sensations of the experience: Oculus Rift, HTC Vice, Microsoft HoloLens for augmented reality (coming soon!) and other HMDs (Head Mounted Devices). A reality in this increasingly competitive market is that there are more accessory products than content! The latest PlayStation VR glasses launching soon, at a starting price point of 400 euro, will certainly seduce many of the console’s 10 million users.
(Featured Image: Fred Baus, CEO at realab / Image Credit: Rockstart Answers)
One Luxembourg startup has chosen to position itself in this market by offering software that allows its users to create films in virtual reality, proposing several stories and evolving them according to the unconscious behaviors of the users. With its solution, Virtelio, realab recently won the award for best project 2016 at the Filmteractive Festival Market in Poland by seducing prestigious jurors from Google, Samsung, Orange and even SpeedUp. This is not the only feat of arms for the startup. Samsa Film Luxembourg is currently using the software to produce a film that is expected to be released in 2017. Finally, to accelerate the development of realab, its founders have just completed a first funding round, which helps the startup to dream bigger and seduce Steven Spielberg and others!
A turnkey solution
The developers will laugh nervously when reading these next few lines, but Virtelio does not require any intervention of developers or coders. In short, it is now possible to create an interactive film in virtual reality without resorting to human resources that consume time and money. The complete simplification of the process for realizing and popularizing this technology is turning out to be a good business for realab. Currently in beta, the startup already counts first-ranked users, including Future Lighthouse (Spain) and WeMakeVR (The Netherlands).
realab offers three main services: the creation of VR applications and software, which includes Virtelio; realization of A-to-Z content, films and productions for clients; and the creation of 360° films. The startup created the very first Luxembourgish film in VR, ‘Hotel Budapest’, which was presented in 2016 at the Luxembourg City Film Festival. The recent funds raised by the startup should enable it to work on its content marketplace and win many new customers. They already established contacts with several TV stations and producers of VR films at the Web Summit in Lisbon.
A huge potential market
According to Goldman Sachs, the virtual reality market is estimated at 80 billion euro, of which three to four billion represents the market for VR films, and it is expected to attract 70-80 million users by 2025. realab’s services are thus aimed at a wide range of potential customers, mainly B2B, ranging from film directors to producers, screenwriters, post-production companies, RV/AR developers, artists, marketing managers, realtors, architects and event organizers. Whether for the production of video games, the making of films, or the development of software and applications, the possibilities seems endless for this startup.
This article was first published in SILICON