Too many movies have created their own take on the world of virtual reality in the sci-fi genre, and it used to be exactly that: science fiction. Today, however, there’s nothing fictional at all about having to strap on a piece of headgear and being transported to a whole new reality inside your mind. Just yesterday, San Francisco startup Survios raised funding amounting to $4 million in order to spearhead the future of this next generation technology.
Virtual Reality (VR) is and always will be a hot topic especially in all the years to come. But for now, VR has been rather stationary, which is something that Survios is aiming to revolutionize. Co-founders James Iliff and Nathan Burba plan to create an entirely immersive experience especially for hardcore gamers. “We think the button and body will merge together in an experience that is more satisfying. We want you to be able to get up and move around and shoot things in different directions,” says Iliff. “This funding will help us expand, move into a new office, and do the real work — design for manufacturability and build something rapidly.”
Once the Survios prototype headset is put on and the gaming controls set, users get to apply actual physical movements, whether it’s flying planes or killing off zombies. Players can move around, grab weapons, hack, slash, and actually feel like they are inside the game. “You really need to feel like you’re inside of a body and have control of your hands and arms. That brings it to the next level,” says Burba.
It was in the University of Southern California Mixed Reality Lab where Survios was born, the same place Oculus founder Palmer Luckey hailed from. Oculus was the first to introduce VR to the public compared to Survios. It was such a success that Facebook decided to acquire Oculus for $2 billion worth in cash and in stock, including 23 million Facebook shares and a whopping $400 million. “This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life,” says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
Now, Oculus’ Luckey also serves as an advisor to help Survios get on its feet. With its recently acquired funding, Survios has a 2015 target for the official launch. It is currently developing about 4 games specifically made to maximize the virtual reality experience. The gaming demo looks impressively promising as it is, so It won’t be long until Survios’ VR technology brings the future another step closer.