With at least five different virtual reality platforms available to consumers this year, there is the potential that content will be available only on each platform’s siloed store and isolated from the others.
Wevr, a leading maker of VR content, believes VR content should seamlessly work on and be available for multiple platforms—much like a Netflix movie doesn’t care if you’re watching it on an iPad or an Xbox.
Today it announced it's building a network that will feature content for Oculus Rift, Samsung’s Gear VR, HTC’s Vive, Sony’s PlayStationVR, and Google’s Cardboard—and will enable content creators to build once and have their projects work on each of those platforms.
Thanks to $25 million in new venture funding, Wevr’s network, known as Transport, features a proprietary high-performance playback and rendering engine, says CEO and cofounder Neville Spiteri.
The Los Angeles-based company, which created the first content for the Vive, and which has developed projects for the Gear VR like the episodic thriller Gone, and which this month had four films featured at Sundance, is utilizing an open media format for Transport. Wevr has not yet shared details about its own in-house technologies.
"As long as you describe your VR experience using this media format," Spiteri says, "that automatically deals with the content and ensures that it runs in high-performance on these different (VR) platforms."
Spiteri acknowledged that it’s likely other companies will build similar VR networks, but said Wevr is lucky enough to have taken a leadership position when it comes to enabling creatives to build, and users to consume, VR content regardless of the system they’re using.
For now, Transport is in a private beta, both on the creation and the consumption sides, and it’s unclear how long it will be before the system is publicly available. Wevr has handpicked a few creators to make the initial content for the system. The company itself is doing so as well, turning theBlu, the underwater VR experience it built for Vive into a new series, added Spiteri.