This week Malia and Jonathan talk about China’s enormous billion dollar VR theme park, HTC officially announces its standalone VR headset for China AND cancels their standalone headset partnership with Google, become your favorite Justice League superhero at IMAX Experience Centers, Pixar releases its VR debut with Coco, and the investment & funding wrapup...
A new billion dollar VR theme park in China gives new meaning to the word enormous. Spanning 320+ acres, a $15M gigantic Transformers statue, the East Valley of Science and Fantasy (actual name) is estimated to cost almost $1.5B and also boasts an R&D lab for VR film and media. Intriguingly enough, there will also be a “VR restaurant”-- whatever that means.
HTC just unveiled the Vive Focus, its long-awaited standalone headset, along with new mobile VR platform Vive Wave… BUT only in China. HTC also cancelled its standalone headset that was supposed to use Google’s Daydream platform along with Google’s WorldSense positional tracking system. These are big indicators that HTC’s strategy could be to focus on Asia; for content platforms they already have Viveport for desktop VR and now Vive Wave for mobile VR. // Related Stocks: HTC Corporation ($2498.TW)
IMAX and Warner Bros. want you to virtually jump into Justice League and step into the shoes of your favorite hero. Exclusively at IMAX locations for couple weeks, the VR experience will be released publicly in December. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be a superhero? // Related Stocks: IMAX Corporation ($IMAX), Time Warner Inc. ($TWX)
Another big Hollywood name leaps into the VR scene-- Disney Pixar’s debut into immersive content accompanies their new film Coco. Pixar sees this as the evolution of social VR: the adventure can be shared by up to 4 people in the Oculus Rift and 2 in the Samsung Gear VR. // Related Stocks: The Walt Disney Company ($DIS), Facebook, Inc. ($FB), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd ($005930.KS)
Beautiful and innovative-- this is next-level content marketing.
Seattle, WA-based Pixvana raised $14M in Series A funding for their cloud-based platform for VR video processing & delivery, bringing the grand total of capital raised to $20M. The round was led by Vulcan Capital with participation from Microsoft Ventures and others.
Palo Alto, CA-based GridRaster announced almost $2M in seed for their rendering infrastructure for mobile VR/AR. The startup uses cloud computing methods to improve graphic fidelity for mobile VR platforms, and is already working with Osterhout Design Group who make the ODG smartglasses.