By: Allison Huynh, CEO of MyDream
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background? Is it your first business?
This is my first business as a CEO. As a mother, I wanted to make a creative, collaborative game for my kids. After we started to dabble in VR, we created a new VR software, LightVR and rebuilt Siege Hammer natively in virtual reality. MyDream, founded in 2011, has spent five years developing the most advanced voxel-based game system.
Write 2-3 sentences about your business. What problem is your business trying to solve?
MyDreamVR creates collaborative and creative software and games in Virtual Reality. LightVR is an experiment on creativity and functionality in VR, with a vision to be a virtual room simulator. This allows anyone to create the room of their dreams, with pre-made props and “technology posters” allowing users to decorate their rooms to their liking. For example, LightVR users could build a cozy and intimate environment, an enchanted forest, or a futuristic spaceship-style room. Part of a dream room is allowing infinite TVs and monitors, which is supported through LightVR’s functionality allowing users to create as many web apps as they like, whether that means watching YouTube videos and playing a video game or Skyping with friends.
MyDream has pioneered the concept of enabling the forward-facing camera on the VR headset for users to see their keyboard, grab a drink off the desk, or engage with people around them without the need to remove the VR headset. The camera is blended with the virtual world and is activated based on a set of configurable gestures, such as the user looking down at the keyboard. This “blended reality” allows for ease of typing and maintaining awareness of the physical world.
The product is geared towards everyone from the casual VR user to those who want a fully-immersive VR experience with their headset on throughout. LightVR offers quality graphics which are realistically lit by the screen, and props which personalize the VR space. Window orientation, backgrounds, and additional features can also be customized and automatically saved so when you exit and restart the application, it restores the same VR state.
What are your business growth plans?
As the virtual reality market grows and becomes mainstream, people will need a desktop application. We see LightVR as the most useful VR desktop, providing a customizable room interface, and we hope people will choose it.
With Siege Hammer, we predict that Tower Defense will become the leading genre for VR gaming. Tower Defense and its variant is by far the leading genre on Steam and mobile. As one of the few games I know that is developed natively for VR in the tower defense genre, we hope Siege Hammer will ride the Tower Defense wave when VR gaming comes to the masses.
. What excites you the most about the possibilities of VR? In terms of transformative technologies where do you see VR on the spectrum? Fire, the wheel, the automobile, phones, airplanes etc.
While videos are windows into another world, VR actually is another world that you can step into and immerse yourself in moments and memories that are totally priceless. For instance, I’d give anything to go back to Vietnam and walk through our Jasmine tea plantation with my grandmother before she passed away. Virtual reality has the opportunity to touch you at an intimate and emotional level. It’s an experience, whereas other devices are tools.
What industry do you think will be most impacted by VR? Education, HealthCare?
The first industry that will be most impacted by VR is gaming, but education will also be greatly impacted. My kids are at an SEL school, and there are amazing ways that schools can use VR to teach children social emotional learning skills, history, and really any subject to make it more immersive and fun. I think both of our products help create a better environment to learn. For instance, LightVR’s room simulator with a 360-degree desktop lets you create any environment — such as a mountain scene — where you’ll be most productive.
Will VR unite or divide the world?
Our goal is to help make virtual reality unite colleagues, friends and family with creative, collaborative software.
What will your children be able to experience with VR that is currently not possible?
When they read a Magic Tree House book, they’ll be able to go on a crazy bus ride inside the human body and have it actually be a thrilling ride through our arteries and veins, seeing the inside of the body at the cellular level and all the crazy things that happen there. That would be such a wild, crazy ride!