Wevr raises $25M; AltspaceVR launches on Samsung Gear VR

Ronny Kerr · February 5, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4320

A roundup of today's biggest news in virtual reality, from Wevr to AltspaceVR to View-Master VR

The virtual reality space is gaining serious momentum.

While the big hype of the week focused on augmented reality, with the productless Magic Leap raising a whopping a $793.5 million round  led by Alibaba Group, virtual reality is building up huge momentum of its own accord.

Here we’ve compiled a few of the day's biggest news in VR.

Wevr raises $25 million for VR community and platform

Wevr, a virtual reality community and provider of a VR media player, announced today that it has raised $25 million in new funding from HTC, Samsung Ventures, Evolution Media Partners, and others. Last summer, the company closed a $10 million round.

Additionally, Wevr is launching Transport, a device-agnostic network where third parties can share and distribute their VR content. Transport is still in beta.

Instead of creating completely new technology, the company focuses on a more curation-like role, working with musicians, filmmakers, and other storytellers to fuel strong VR content. Truthfully, this might be what the industry needs: while improving technology is also important, there’s something to be said about the fact that no ordinary person can name a quintessential piece of VR content. This needs to change for VR to have its moment and go mainstream.

AltspaceVR launches on Samsung Gear VR

Like a second life for Second Life, AltspaceVR is all about bringing people together in the virtual world. Events the company suggests for its app include watching a movie, playing Dungeons & Dragons, or attending a lecture. Users can create their own events so it's really limitless.

Within the world created by Altspace, users have avatars that can interact with one another, explore spaces, and generally discover virtual experiences.

The company had previously rolled out its app across several devices, including Oculus DK2, HTC Vive, Perception Neuron, Leap Motion, and Microsoft Kinect. Starting today, the app is now available on the Samsung Gear VR. If you haven’t gotten around to ordering the Samsung device (or any other VR headset—geez, what’s wrong with you?), you can still test AltspaceVR in 2D mode.

To date, AltspaceVR has raised over $15 million and is headquartered in Redwood City.

Apple starts selling View-Master VR

"In terms of VR, I don't think it's a niche. It's really cool and has some interesting applications.”

So said Apple CEO Tim Cook on the company's quarterly earnings conference call last week, providing the perfectly executive-crafted response to sufficiently answer a question while not actually making any substantial claims about the future of the company or its relationship to virtual reality.


Astute Apple observers noticed that the View-Master, a device and platform for both augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, appeared on the Apple Store today.

Of course, this still isn’t a major indication of anything, except that Apple may start to take this budding field of technology more seriously.

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