The year 2016 will be remembered as the debut of consumer VR, with large tech companies planting their stakes in this growing market.
There’s no doubt that virtual reality (VR) has gotten… well, real.
Due to VR being known primarily for gaming, many see it as an unappealing and unrelatable platform. One DMZ-based startup, Pinch VR, is showing consumers and brands that immersive virtual experiences are capable of going far beyond gaming and can even be available at a low price. Pinch VR provides printable and disposable VR headsets and controllers that allow you to “pinch” yourself into a different reality using your smartphone. Unlike other VR options on the market, Pinch VR’s handheld controllers go further than the sometimes shallow visual-only experience.
Pinch VR co-founders Vlad Dascalu and Milan Baic went through several shifts and trials in order to develop the product they have now. After talking to a number of companies, investors, and consumers, they soon found out that interactivity is where the VR market is.
“In order for someone to deliver an immersive experience you need consumers to have hardware in their hands”
Pinch VR is able to provide a “cheap solution,” unlike its competitors because their hardware doesn’t include any technology. Instead, all forms of software come from the user’s smartphone. Although Pinch VR is gaining more traction for being able to distribute content on a global scale with its easy-to-use, low price and smartphone accessible VR product, Dascalu understands that there is an expiration date for their headset and controllers.
“There will be an expiry on Pinch in like seven years when everyone will have VR headsets… So, then we move over to the second phase of software play.”
Now, Pinch VR is providing brands an opportunity to explore, design and implement immersive virtual solutions for internal and external marketing. Brands can provide their customers the ability to create whatever reality they wish by jumping into a virtual sandbox using their smartphone and Pinch VR controllers. Imagine using VR to test drive a few vehicles before taking one out of the lot or using VR to view a few homes with your real estate agent. According to Dascalu, the startup’s goal is to become one of the leaders in VR consulting and development for brands and marketers.