Virtual reality may be dropping the virtual part very soon. As more and more media companies are investing in the tech, it is becoming a reality. Cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner have joined the first round as investors for NextVR, a company considered a real leader in virtual reality broadcast technology. The first round of $30.5 million, led by firm Formation 8, will create a powerhouse partnership that will aid in expanding the VR reality into programs ranging from pro sports to award shows. Founder of Formation 8, Brian Koo, the tech advisor and board observer to Oculus pre-sale to Facebook, will be on the board of NextVR’s board of directors. A list that includes Oculus, the platform will be compatible with other major head-mounted displays like Samsung, HTC, etc.
One of the owners of the Golden State Warriors, Peter Guber and RSE Ventures; a venture firm associated with the Miami Dolphins; and Dick Clark Productions, a production company that produces award shows like the American Music Awards, and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, are among the first round of investors.
Said Brad Allen, Executive Chairman of NextVR, “This first-class group of investors is a major validation of our virtual reality technology platform.”
The inviting thing about NextVR to investors is that it has already provided streaming for major events in virtual reality: CNN’s VR partner for streaming the first Democratic debate, Turner Sport’s VR broadcast of an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. To first round investors, NextVR is about to go huge.
“NextVR is at the forefront of a transformative technology that is revolutionizing how live-action content will be consumed,” said Managing Director, Time Warner Investments, Scott Levine.
An interesting byproduct of high-tech advances is it will require production setup to adjust. Companies that best give audiences the best virtual reality experience will obviously come out ahead. With live virtual reality, there is no cutting room floor, and no time for edits.
“Consumers and professionals need to learn a new way of shooting. […] With virtual reality, that all goes out the door. Where do you put the lighting? You can’t, because it will be in the scene,” research firm Gartner’s Brian Blau, research director for personal technologies told Fortune in an interview.
“For virtual reality to really start taking off – and we expect it will in 2016 – there must be great content delivered through great technology,” said Koo. “Experiencing an NBA game in virtual reality is like sitting in floor seats at center court. You feel as if you are there.”
Soon, the phrase “wish you were here” may become obsolete as anyone can be anywhere in real time, anytime.