Ok I have a confession to make, I have this dream to work in the VR industry in some capacity by later this year and one of the companies I've been stalking is PlutoVR.
1- It's founded by the guy that made the game Bejeweled (Popcap Games). If you're not familiar, it's that game where you match shapes and colors of jewels. It's incredible. It's highly addictive and filled all the idle moments of my childhood. From the looks of his LinkedIn, it was wildly successful and bought by EA, so his new venture is likely to have great success.
2-They're a Seattle based startup (I'm originally from there)
I've been following them since they barely had anything on their website, it was an unassuming and reminded me of the 1996 Space Jam website that's still up, so of course that was plus points. While their site has since been updated, they don't disclose too many details about their work, but as my first company profile of the year, it had to be them.
What do they do: They're revolutionizing remote communication. They allow you to communicate directly in VR, alongside your other VR apps. Be "Virtually in Person" as they claim. Their goal is to help people move beyond the constraints of physical location, and to create a feeling of “shared presence” — the feeling that “comes from all of our senses and social cues that exist when we are in person together.” They are the app you use to talk to other people in VR.
What this means for you: Just as an example, remember that post I made about the app, YouVisit? Imagine we're in Paris in the app. We're together. We can talk and shop like we're there. We can chat about how underwhelming the Mona Lisa at the Lourve is (Seriously, it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be) and maybe you can be an enabler and encourage me to buy more stuff from the Lanvin store, or eat more macaroons.
No plane ticket, don't even have to change out of my five year old lululemon sweats. One day maybe taste can be integrated and we can eat in VR. We could eat cornettos together in Rome. Wouldn't that be wild?
Maybe that's not the use case they envison, but I plan to move back stateside, far from my mom, and it would be nice to do things together. Previously I've talked about VR transporting your mind elsewhere, but with the social element, now you can be with other people! How exciting! That's why the Microsoft Hololens demo was so fascinating! Social VR is what I'm most smitten about.
How they make money: Too early to tell. Charge the user? Charge the app for getting more people to use the app?
Where they are based: Seattle, WA, USA. Founded in 2015.
Who's behind it: John Vechey, Jared Cheshier, Jonathan Geibel, and Forest Gibson. Read about them here. Job openings are on the same page if you're interested!
Signup for their alpha here. FYI though you'll need an Oculus Rift with Touch Controllers or an HTC Vibe, so early adoptors, have at it!
VR & AR are for everyone.