TheWaveVR worked with elevated visibility during SXSW 2018, being one of the companies tapped to create one of the experiences that brought Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One to virtual reality. We talked to TheWaveVR CEO, Adam Arrigo, about Spielberg’s approval of the game the team created, but he also had some words to share about the state of the VR industry.
“VRs in an interesting place where there was a lot of hype a year and a half ago about VR being this transformative technology, which it absolutely is, but developers are now figuring out the best use cases and the hardware prices are coming down,” Arrigo says. “We’re at this in-between phase where the people who are left doing VR are the ones that are actually dedicated to it and not getting caught up in the hype of shiny objects of new technology.”
TheWaveVR, obviously a platform being shaped by a team that remains dedicated to virtual reality, is carving a niche centered on creating new opportunities for musicians. The platform uses virtual space to connect DJs and artists to their far-flung audiences, no matter where they are.
“Since we launched our platform last year, we saw incredible user engagement,” Arrigo says. “Each show we’ve done has just been steadily building [with repeat viewers]. We’re steadily growing our team and evolving the product, getting ready for that moment when VR really explodes at home when everyone has a headset similar to a game console.”
The verdict is still out, but Ready Player One could be a moment that shifts more eyes toward the VR industry. The film and the book it’s based on focused heavily on a virtual reality experience called The Oasis, which is the home for the zero-gravity club TheWaveVR created for SXSW 2018. Arrigo is pretty confident that shift will happen because of its potential as a big pop culture phenomenon.
“I don’t think it’s going to cause everyone to buy VR but it's like the beginning of that crescendo that’s going to lead toward mass consumer adoption,” he says. “The exciting part of this collaboration is we’re able to show people experiences that have previously been depicted in only sci-fi films. Our dreams are actually coming true now. We’ve been building this tech platform that actually makes virtual concerts possible. Collaborating with the film and letting people actually step into that scene now is a really powerful moment for us and we hope for the larger VR ecosystem.”
For additional looks at Ready Player One through the lens of virtual reality, check out the list of experiences that made appearances at SXSW 2018.