By Michelle Nissen
One moment you find yourself kicking and screaming, trying to escape zombies. The next you are drawing 3D figures that you can walk around and experience from any angle. All that without ever leaving the room. Virtual Reality (VR) gives you limitless possibilities to work with and VR has come to Jutland.
Virtual Reality beyond gaming
This might sound like a dream for gamers but the VR world is changing rapidly, and it is creating new paths for more than pure entertainment. Aarhus-based digital studio Somatic focuses on VR solutions for companies interested in stepping into this alternate universe. As well as developing their own game, they provide help for other companies who can see the potential of a VR system in their sector.
Despite being a new player in the VR market, the company has already established firm ground for themselves. “I cannot imagine a place in the world where VR is unable to work as a helpful tool,” says Simon Overgaard one its co-founders. As just one example Somatic is creating solutions within the traditional and established field of farming equipment.
“A potential customer in the agricultural industry has asked for ideas on how we can help provide virtual reality for agricultural machinery, so their customers can get the feeling of standing next to them and understand the machine’s sheer size,” explains Overgaard.
Dead Dogs and future of VR
With all the promises that VR enables, it is easy to label it as the next big technological trend for companies to follow. However, there are those who see it with more ambivalent lens.
Kevin Geiger, from the Beijing Film Academy’s International Animation VR Research Center, predicts “In 5 years, 90% of these dogs will be dead, meaning that most of the people that get involved will fail.” He predicts that only a handful of companies will continue in this field after the initial buzz has calmed down.
This doesn’t concern Somatic’s Simon Overgaard, who remains confident in his future success. “I’m not afraid of such predictions. I can come up with numerous examples of people who did not predict a long lifespan for new inventions like the internet or apps, inventions that we today cannot live without,” he says.
Something virtual in the state of Denmark
In Denmark, VR growth is moving slowly but steadily. As it has been with the development of so many electronic devices, the software that Somatic is developing sometimes relies on the evolving hardware products that are produced in The United States or China. Due to the expenses connected with buying the setup for VR, it is still not something that has become a part of every household. “It still needs some development that will make it accessible to users beyond the small niche of gamers,” says Geiger.
Overgaard explains that their vision is of a wide range of customers understanding the benefits of using VR for their specific niche, some sort of VR use is going affect everybody whether we like it or not. The future of VR is almost within reach and this corner of Jutland is no exception.
Somatic is a digital studio based in Aarhus.