iGotcha Media expands into VR

The Monteal-based digital signage co's founder Greg Adelstein on how entering the virtual space was a logical progression in an increasingly experiential world.

If you’ve been dabbling in the world of advanced tech and you’ve ticked augmented reality off your list, what’s the most natural progression? You got it: virtual reality.

That explains why iGotcha Media has decided to dip its toes (all five of them) into the experiential play available today.

The Montreal-based digital signage company announced yesterday that it is adding VR technology to its suite of product and service-related offerings.

In a time where big VR producer products – Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive – are already being picked off store shelves, analysts are looking at the tech as a fast ripening fruit to tap.

According to CCS Insight, a market analysis firm, AR and VR are quickly hitting the mainstream. Shipment of virtual reality devices is expected to grow from 2.5 million in 2016 to more than 24 million in 2018, growing into a $4 billion global industry.

Greg Adelstein, founder of iGotcha Media, told MiC his company’s move into VR is based on a dozen years of industry experience, much of it gleaned over developing products and services around high-tech experiential events like auto shows and sporting events.

The company is responsible for developing the products and technology behind consumer-facing events like Cirque du Soleil’s latest show Luzia, where an AR-powered video wall lets event-goers interact by superimposing the faces of supernatural birds atop their bodies, and against a wall of psychedelic moving images. People can play at the wall for an hour before the show and during intermission only and Adelstein said the company is already seeing between 500 and 1,000 visitors a day.

HTC ViveThat type of response, coupled with interest from digital agencies and clients he works with, pushed Adelstein to build a VR application that can sit inside an HTC Vive headset (pictured, right). The technology transforms a regular visual into 3D, giving users an opportunity to walk around and interact with virtual objects using handheld controllers.

The company’s project at launch is currently in development for a brand that Adelstein is not yet at liberty to disclose.

What he can say is this: A smartphone is not required as the technology is built into the HTC device. The application allows users to draw and paint in 3D, doing things like signing their name while moving about, or dotting a Jackson Pollock-esque piece in 360.

“All of this works so well with digital signage,” says Addelstein, who believes opportunities like these are like a gold mine for marketers looking to build brand value and engagement with current and potential consumers.

The art VR execution is expected to launch in early fall in partnership with a university.