Vicarious Hits iOS

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It's finally here. Vicarious has launched on iOS!!!

Literally every time we'd go to a meeting, convention, or demo, people would inevitably be like, "Great. Let me download it." as they pulled out their iPhone. Up until the 15th we'd have to tell them, "Just wait. It's coming soon."

Well those days are over because now we can proudly tell people to go ahead and download it from the App Store. Moreover, it's let us start some exciting new initiatives with some Featured Creators and Student Ambassadors who are creating amazing content to entertain and inspire our users. (More about that in the days to come).

On the technical side, The port to iOS required making a ton of changes to different components that were originally developed for Android, but thanks to Unity's multi-platform compatibility we didn't need to completely rebuild everything. Of course, ports comes with some quirky bugs, but we're ironing more and more out everyday, and we're going to try to stick to a 2 week upgrade schedule, where each upgrade brings new features and more stability.

Now anyone can easily share VR experiences through Vicarious.

(San Francisco, CA) Vicarious, Inc. is happy to announce the launch of Vicarious, a social media app for Daydream by Google, which lets users share and experience each other’s lives through multimedia stories. It’s currently available and featured on Google Play.

Vicarious marries the most ubiquitous digital behavior in the world, sharing photos and videos, with the coolest part of VR, the ability to perceive the experience of another.  With Vicarious, people can create and share uniquely personal stories through 2D photos and videos, 360 photos, text, and audio.  Each of these elements alone can be captivating; but the real power of Vicarious comes from combining them in a fun, new, and different way.  

Vicarious is a VR app where people can create and consume, but it’s also a full-featured 2D mobile app as well, making it one of the first truly hybrid apps for Daydream.  Because of this, Vicarious bridges the mainstream behavioral patterns and technologies of today with the promising future of VR.  In doing so, Vicarious is well poised to give both access to and ownership in VR to everyone.  “As a practical matter, Vicarious is the only app that lets you create and share moments of your life in VR in a matter of seconds,” said JM Yujuico, Founder & CEO, “At scale, you should be able to jump into Vicarious and experience anyone’s unique human experience; actors, athletes, politicians, rock stars and see the world through their eyes.”                                                                                     

Life is a series of moments that make a person who they are.  By using life’s most intimate captured moments, Vicarious empowers the world to share, understand and live vicariously through one another in VR.

Company Origins

In the summer of 2015, Vicarious Founder and CEO, JM Yujuico, and Co-Founder and Head of product, Alex Chu set out to connect people vicariously through the power of VR. Friends for 15 years, it was serendipity that revealed a common passion for VR and the experience needed to build a successful company. JM, a three-time entrepreneur and Alex, the former UX/UI design lead for Samsung VR, were perfectly suited to be the CEO and Head of Product, respectively.  Together, they continue to find success as friends, founders, and proponents of the democratization of VR for all.

“For VR to reach scale, it needs to be relevant to the mainstream,” said Alex Chu, Head of Product, “and Vicarious is a fun and natural extension of what people are already doing in their daily lives.  We’re just getting started.  Stuff coming down the pipe is awesome.”

Availability

Vicarious is now available for Daydream-ready phones and can be downloaded on Google Play.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vicariousvr.vicarious

In the coming weeks and months look for feature updates, expanded media support, and other platforms and devices.

OMG! The VR Industry is blowing up and Vicarious is ramping up!

The best thing about working in VR is that every month brings more excitement.  Google announced Daydream to the world in May.  Clearly, the biggest news in VR since Facebook acquired Oculus!  The Oculus acquisition proved that VR is a legitimate technology.  Daydream is indicative that Google believes they can deliver VR on a massive scale.   They are forecasting 100's of millions of high quality mobile VR smartphones in the next two years.  Support from all of the major manufacturers.  Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei and Xiaomi.  This is huge!  The VR wave just got much bigger and much steeper.  Smartphones will be the main VR consumption device for the world.

Vicarious has been busy iterating on the product.  For all of our beta testers we want to give you a big THANK YOU!  Your feedback confirmed a lot of our conclusions and brought new ideas to light.  You guys have been an incredibly important part of our process and as some of you have seen, the launch product will be amazing! 

Lots of events last month:  

7/7  Upload Collective invited Vicarious to share our product with an executive delegation from Tencent. 

 

7/12 Vicarious was invited to attend the VR Impact Event.   The purpose of the event was to gather influential VR companies to brainstorm ideas and products for VR to help make the world a better place.  

7/12 Vicarious was invited to attend the VR Impact Event.   The purpose of the event was to gather influential VR companies to brainstorm ideas and products for VR to help make the world a better place.  

 

7/13 Vicarious attended the Breaking Innovation Boundaries in Broadband event to learn about technical and policy limitations that could hinder the growth of VR.

 

  7/18 Vicarious visited the content team at Daydream to demo our product and learn more about the roll out.  Very excited for what lies ahead!

 

7/18 Vicarious visited the content team at Daydream to demo our product and learn more about the roll out.  Very excited for what lies ahead!

 

 

7/22  Vicarious visits Industrial Light & Magic.  

7/22  Vicarious visits Industrial Light & Magic.  

 

We are launching soon.  So stay tuned!

Making VR Creation Accessible

A quick overview of the concept behind Vicarious' content creation. 

A quick overview of the concept behind Vicarious' content creation. 

A lot of emerging VR products revolve around providing a library of high quality VR content (mostly spherical videos). The rub is that this content is often difficult to produce due to both technical and hardware limitations. This means that most of these products source content from high end production studios or the technical 1%. Moreover, content is often limited to a single continuous 360 video.

Vicarious is different in goal, process, and functionality. Our goal is to make VR content creation accessible to everyone who wants to participate. This means simplifying the creation process with tools you can use directly in VR and expanding the type of content to include legacy media (2d media, text, and audio) as well as the latest in VR media (spherical, 3d, and spatial audio). Moreover, Vicarious differentiates its feature set to include paginated content which can be sequential or linked, interactivity such as popup content or links to other pages, and a companion mobile app that helps capture assets and create content on the go. 

The image above is a general overview of the creation process from an idea to a published story, article, or album. The creator starts by assembling the story content. As mentioned, this can be any type of new or legacy media, and it really doesn't matter where it comes from as long as you can get it onto the creation device. From there you can go into your VR device, launch the Vicarious app, and begin laying out individual pages. Pages consist of a background and individual items that can have specific properties. The project can be a single or multiple pages (sequential or non-sequential). When the story is complete, it can be published to the Vicarious gallery where it can be shared with the world. 

Our future goals include the addition of expandable content and features that cater to the needs and personalities of our community. These expansions will include additional asset packs, templates, upgraded tool sets, and integration with other content providers. These expansions will improve the capabilities of individual users to create even more compelling and diversified experiences. 

Through the strategy of empowering the widest population of users and the specific tactics of accessible tools, expanded media types, and interactivity, Vicarious will provide a truly compelling platform for creating, sharing, and consuming user generated VR content.

- Alex Chu, Vicarious Co-founder and Head of Product