VR gamers will soon feel like they’re actually in their virtual worlds. The ZephVR, which creates wind synchronized with events in virtual reality, is launching on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding campaign will go live on November 2, 2017 and last for 30 days, with a funding goal of $30,000.
“The ZephVR transforms any VR experience into a multi-sensory, physically immersive adventure,” said Sean Spielberg, the company’s cofounder and CEO. “Wind is one of the most critical elements in turning a game into a reality. Until now, experiences that incorporate wind have only been available at theme parks and exhibitions.”
The ZephVR is a first-of-its-kind accessory that attaches to popular headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR, and automatically adds wind to any game. Using machine learning, it recognizes events in games’ audio tracks and activates its fans at the right moments, so when you fly, fall, or accelerate—or when there’s wind in a game—you’ll actually feel it.
Paige Pruitt, cofounder and CTO, thought of the idea while playing a car game on her PlayStation VR. When she leaned out the virtual car’s window, she accidentally put her head in front of her window fan. “It felt so real, and I couldn’t stop giggling,” she said. “I immediately started thinking about recreating moments like this for other games.”
Pruitt built a prototype and shared it with the PSVR subreddit, where it became the top post for nearly a day. “At that point, we realized there was real demand for something like this,” she said. “Sean and I got to work turning the ZephVR from an initial idea into a consumer product.”
“We think the ZephVR is a natural addition to virtual reality, just like the Rumble Pak was for the Nintendo 64,” said Spielberg. “But wind is just the beginning. Longer-term, our technology could enable all sorts of peripherals and physical effects—temperature, vibration, rain, or anything else people can think up—so that they work with all VR content, automatically.”
Global VR revenue is expected to reach $74.82 billion in 2021 according to Greenlight Insights—an annual growth rate of nearly 80 %. Pricing for the ZephVR will start at $49 for early backers on Kickstarter . For more information, download the ZephVR press kit or visit ZephVR.co.
About Weasel Labs
Weasel Labs, creator of the ZephVR, was founded by Sean Spielberg and Paige Pruitt in 2017. Based in New York City, the team combines machine learning with sensory effects to make VR physically immersive. They are part of the inaugural class of the HMC INQ incubator in Santa Monica.
For more information, visit their website at ZephVR.co.
Company Name: ZEPHVR
Contact Person: Sean Spielberg
Phone: +1 (650) 245-5223
Country: United States