There’s an old American idiom that says, “Put your money where your mouth is.” It comes from the old days around poker tables when men would talk up their card playing abilities, but never get into the game. Just because a man can talk doesn’t mean he can play poker. The saying has come to have the same meaning in the business world – just because there’s a lot of talk about some industry doesn’t mean that it’s really all that great. The most recent example of this is in the VR world. While there’s been a ton of hype, some have said that the marketable potential is low and that investors aren’t willing to risk their money. However, this week’s huge news about VR company Improbable (the brainchild of SpatialOS) is silencing the naysayers.
In the single largest ever round of venture capital raised for a private British company, the VR/tech firm raised a seemingly impossible $502 million in investment capital. This puts them into the rare air of tech companies valued over $1 billion. The company uses an in interesting cloud based computing system in order to build vast worlds virtually. The main use factor is in gaming, but also in the area of real world simulators for military and government deployment. Herman Narula, CEO of the tech firm said, “We believe that the next major phase in computing will be the emergence of large-scale virtual worlds which enrich human experience and change how we understand the real world. At Improbable we have spent the last few years building the foundation of infrastructure for this vision.”
The company’s main draw is its cunning SpatialOS operating system, its mainstay technology. SpatialOS is being used to build the incredible virtual worlds that Improbable has come to be known for. The computational power of the system makes it possible to also have substantial numbers of connected users within the system as well. And because SpatialOS is functioning as a would be SaaS where worlds and tracking is happening in the cloud, games can be created and scaled to any sort of group size without the need of any network engineering.
While the most obvious application is in gaming, there are some really huge potential markets on the horizon. With the IoT promising to deliver ‘smart cities’, the Improbable system could be used to simulate the city with connectivity patterns and provide for real world experimentation and adaptation. Further, fields such as bio-medicine and governments could use the system to simulate the interactions of drugs or the behavior of crowds in real time/real world scenarios.
Ultimately, this investment is an investment in a system of thinking. VR is the wave of technology for the future, and this newest capital infused into the VR world is simply proving that to be the case. Apparently the venture money movers in the market are willing to put their money where they mouth is when it comes to VR technology and the potential for huge money to be made.