Over the last year, our team at Comcast Ventures has invested in six virtual reality (VR) companies. The entrepreneurs in this new space dreamed big and created live-streaming technology ideal for front row sports events to original IP with charming characters and creative plotlines - all inside the world of a head-mounted display (HMD).
AltspaceVR, a VR software company building a communications platform and our first investment in the space, highlights the inherent social nature of the medium. Once inside, you get to choose an avatar and environment, then find things to do like learn a language, play disc golf, watch a comedy show or host a talk. The goal? Simulate togetherness – and become a natural next step beyond a phone call, text or video chat.
One of our goals is to identify and invest in companies at the forefront of technology. Once a company is in our ecosystem, we often provide strategic value, like connections to Comcast NBCUniversal, which can lead to fruitful partnerships.
We’re excited that NBC News decided to use AltspaceVR to transform Rockefeller Center into NBC News’ Virtual Democracy Plaza, with NBCUniversal talent inside the VR ecosystem hosting Q&As, debate parties, and more through election night in November.
As VR continues to develop into a more robust storytelling medium, it not only becomes a place for experimentation but content creation and live interaction within a new medium.
NBC’s Al Roker will kick things off today at 3pm PT/6pm ET with a free ribbon cutting and Q&A introducing the Virtual Democracy Plaza. This is just one example of the possibilities that move from investment to partnership.