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The creators of the virtual reality-suit VRee received a significant funding from the Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij and accelerator LUMO labs. The VR-startup, based in Eindhoven’s brainport, has developed a suit which makes it possible to track the body of a gamer in real-time, and use this in a VR environment. This technology makes active eSports possible, but also creates a slew of possibilities in the areas of gaming, training and simulation. VRee and BOM do not want to disclose the amount of money involved.
Real body in the virtual world
VRee is developed in 2014 by Menno Bischops and Roy Noten, then students at the Fontys Hogeschool in Eindhoven. Later, they joined forces with the current CEO of Vree, Andy Lürling. The product consists of an SDK, which tracks the sensors in a bodysuit. By accurately tracking the movement of these sensors, VR-gamers can see and use their body as they move around the virtual world. Lürling: “We’ve shown our platform to a select group of VR-insiders, and they all agree that this offers numerous new possibilities for eSports competitions, event centers and simulation training. This seed funding gives us the resources to display our product in a broader circle of early adopters.”
Not the only VR innovation from Eindhoven
VRee is not the only startup who wants to give gamers more control over their virtual experience. A notable example is the VR-glove from Manus. This startup, also based in Eindhoven, has developed a way to give a gamer precise control over their hand and fingers in the virtual world. VRee thinks bigger than that, as their suit works best in large areas where the player can walk walk around and explore the virtual environment. The startup is also planning to add tactile feedback to the suit. This way players can get the sense of touching virtual objects.
Licensing their SDK
VRee plans to license its technology to developers in the next year. This means they’ll make their development-kit available to hardware and software developers, who can then use the technology to create their own VR-experiences. The startup will use the seed funding to hire developers and visual designers to further develop their product. They’ll also invest in in their sales and marketing efforts. The goal of this is to get content developers and event centers about the possibilities VRee offers for a more immersive VR-experience.
Not only euros for VRee
The amount of money invested is not disclosed, however BOM usually invests between 150,000 euro and 2.5 million euro in startups. Since they like to keep it to themselves, there is also a possibility they just bought VRee lunch and left it at that. Its anyone’s guess, really. Besides funding, BOM also supports startups in the province of Brabant with knowledge and experience. VRee is part of the LUMO Labs technology accelerator from Eindhoven, which offers a two year program for startups. Besides that, VRee is recently accepted in the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, providing them with additional mentorship and guidance.