Igloo Vision, the Shropshire-based shared virtual reality (VR) company, has opened operations in both New York and Los Angeles to increase sales in the US commercial VR market.
Igloo Vision makes 360° projection environments dubbed ‘Igloos’ that let groups share an immersive VR experience without the isolation of a headset. The company plans to use its early innovator position to build a bigger share of the global VR and AR market, which is predicted to grow from $11.4bn in 2017 to $215bn by 2021. The US currently leads on VR spending globally, but Igloo Vision founder and MD Colin Yellowley says it is at least three years behind the UK in terms of content and commercial application.
Igloo’s customers include: BP, the British MoD, Ford, Welsh Water, Vodafone and Marriott International.
The US market is investing heavily into VR technology, and as a leading supplier of VR projection technology we need to ensure that we’re at the heart of that investment
Dennis Wright, CEO, Igloo Vision
Yellowley, who will head up the US operations, commented: “While the headset market is perfect for consumers and individuals, the commercial VR market needs something different and is changing rapidly from being an awkward and isolated experience to one where a business’ potential customers, partners or employees can sit relaxed or stand together and view and interact with it.”
Igloo Vision uses off-the-shelf components to build its reusable igloos, rather than taking a top down approach to creating bespoke 360° VR projection environment with expensive projectors and screens.
Igloo serves three key commercial VR applications – simulation to immerse teams in any scenario; experiences to engage, inspire or entertain; and visualisation to bring design concepts to life. It has helped architects, construction companies and property developers to create virtual skyscrapers for future tenants to view or to understand how people will interact with the space before it’s built.
“We’re continuing to see strong growth in the US market and the new offices will enable us to serve existing and new customers better,” said Yellowley.
Igloo Vision’s CEO, Dennis Wright summarised. “The US market is investing heavily into VR technology, and as a leading supplier of VR projection technology we need to ensure that we’re at the heart of that investment. The UK has the best skills and content developers in the world. As a nation we need to adopt a US mentality and attitude to growth and success or risk losing out as the VR market develops further State side.”