To many, virtual reality (VR) technology alone is the frontier of technological innovation. For Steven Zhao, CEO of Sandbox VR, however, VR isn’t enough.
Zhao and his colleagues have combined VR technology with motion capture technology to create immersive, interactive VR chambers around the world. The “Sandboxes,” as Zhao calls them, closely resemble the holodeck from Star Trek—staging environments that allow users to interact with various digital simulations.
Zhao revealed in an interview with Thrive Global that the detached nature of at-home VR came as a disappointment. Desiring a more immersive experience, Zhao and his team focused on developing holodeck-like technology. The Sandbox further differs from at-home VR in that it’s designed to be social. With the goal of bringing people together, Zhao has no immediate plans to develop the landscapes for personal use. Instead, he hopes to open more retail Sandboxes worldwide in addition current locations in San Francisco, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Vancouver.
The founder and CEO has cited word of mouth as Sandbox VR’s primary marketing channel. The company also creates trailers that depict user experiences after the experience, a strategy that has experienced success over social media.
Zhao announced recently “a $68M dollar series A led by Andreessen with participation from Stanford and Floodgate, Alibaba, CRCM, and TriplePoint Capital,” hinting at a bright future for the tech company.
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