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SpaceVR Inks $1.25M

2016-04-28
SAN JOSE, CA, SpaceVR, a platform for creating cinematic virtual space tourism, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding.
According to Techcrunch, SpaceVR wants to launch high-definition 360-degree cameras into space so that users can experience the majesty of the cosmos on their virtual reality headsets.

The small 5-person company just raised a $1.25 million Seed round led by Shanda Group with participation from Skywood Capital.

SpaceVR launched a KickStarter this past September to begin the process of getting their cameras into space. They raised over $110,000 with the goal of presenting viewers the same views as the International Space Station.

Fast forward a few months and the company has gotten more ambitious -- they want to launch their own satellites. To do so they're looking to recruit the help of a little company called SpaceX to launch their eye 200 miles into the sky. The camera, dubbed the Overview 1, will have a pair of 4K fisheye cameras capturing the vast space around it and a lifespan of 6 months.

VR filmmaker Chris Milk has famously called virtual reality the 'ultimate empathy machine.' SpaceVR founder and CEO Ryan Holmes believes that VR in space only heightens that emotion. I chatted with Holmes about the 'overview effect,' where people, when presented with a view of earth from afar, are much more likely to empathize with others and see the pettiness of so-called major issues in the face of viewing our little planet.

'Prioritization changes,' Holmes told me. 'There's more of a focus on making the world sustainable, and [people] freak out about a lot of the stuff we're doing to the planet now.'
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