Virtual reality, immersive multimedia sensory experiences in realistic or imagined virtual environments, “will transform every industry over the next decade or two,” said the CEO of a group investing in a VR startup co-founded by former student Chris Wheeler, who earned a Master of Science in Visualization degree at Texas A&M in 2009.
Wheeler’s company, Emergent VR, is developing a social platform that will enable anyone with a mobile device to create, edit and share virtual reality experiences.
“Just as the Internet is ubiquitous, virtual reality will be ubiquitous in 10 or 20 years. This technology is really going to change everyone’s life,” said Mike Rothenberg, founder of Rothenberg Ventures, which is funding Emergent VR and 12 other startups that are developing a wide variety of VR applications for entertainment, medical treatment, education, journalism and employee training.
Wheeler, a virtual reality production veteran, was a key contributor to “Zero Point,” a short VR film created for the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality headset. The film, released October 2014, features military rescue exercises, relaxing beach scenes and the halls of a bustling electronics trade show.
He developed the film’s custom camera arrays, managed its 360-degree video stitching pipeline, created its real-time 3-D video engine and led its engineering and post-production teams.
Wheeler also earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree at Texas A&M in 2007.