We talk with Jennifer Rundell, COO of Positron, the company behind the Voyager chair -- the world’s first full-motion chair for premium cinematic VR content. Jennifer talks about some of their content partnerships like Universal Studios and IMAX, and how Positron is making their interactive haptic-enabled motion chair commercially viable. We talk about the future of theater, how Positron is strategically tapping into the location-based entertainment market, and why adding motion and haptics to VR experiences can drastically reduce reported nausea by tricking the vestibular system. Jennifer also illustrates how immersive directors can think of motion as another input and tool to direct audience attention -- http://www.gopositron.com/

Join us: http://www.realvirtualshow.com 

*Big thanks to John K. Chin for the jazzy music & James A. Beck for the voice magic

United States


00:00:12welcome to the real virtual show were real people talk live about virtual Hey guys and welcome to another episode of the real virtual show my name is Molly up Probst I'm your host and today we have Jennifer run del cielo of positronic with us on the show Jennifer
00:00:34thanks for joining us I am I am so happy to be here be here looking forward say okay I I really want to talk about the Voyager in it that the chair that you guys make a positron this is this is you know you call the world's first
00:00:49full motion chair for premium that cinematic V. R. I wanted dig into that and figure out what the heck that means but I I gotta I gotta pull back momentarily so when I do hold positron Jenner I it positron VR didn't come up first up how the trend
00:01:09is a subatomic particle it it it turns out and it has turns out that the sub atomic particle Mrs is a science that I have long since forgotten as the same mass as an electronic and a numerically equal but positive charge what does that mean and why did
00:01:23you name your company that yes so I'm I mean I think we were on as a company we we've we've always been focused on kind of pushing the bounds of Tiffany and engineering and %HESITATION I finding kind of those tension points in in both what science and engineering
00:01:46can bring to creativity so %HESITATION you know the origin the origin of the name are just kind of sums this up I think we're %HESITATION were were %HESITATION %HESITATION always kind of focused on on on the positive in and sort of a joyful outcomes of of what we
00:02:05do so and you know I think that that that's kind of the reason and also you know it's got a little it's got a little sci fi attuned to is in the wells yeah it's just it it works for us yeah yeah I like I feel like there
00:02:21had to be as some I have if I figured it had to be a little bit little bit of a little bit of a story behind that positron okay refreshing me on my high school science fan or actually I guess I better learn middle school or something but
00:02:36that's that's how long ago this was for me so I first came across you guys I'm back at south by southwest you guys did meet a really big splash at south by earlier this year you guys are showcasing the money VR experience %HESITATION from Universal Studios in IMAX
00:02:52which starred Tom Cruise so you know they they we had so many fantastic images of these sort of beautiful red age like AT shaped chairs that have like luxurious read it cushioning and them and they're very they're very iconic bookings you guys make a great media splash Ehrlich
00:03:12earlier this year tell me about the chair and what that was like and then showcasing of that content %HESITATION from the money yeah great we saw it itself by southwest we we did as you describe we and we had a he VR theater army we call the full
00:03:31motion theatre that our our Voyager I chairs and they %HESITATION EOC continuously meaning they turn continuously %HESITATION three interns sixty degrees all the way around and they they pitch back and forth %HESITATION and all of this is a very kind of gentle I'm gentle motion but incredibly powerful
00:03:54when you're pairing it with the visuals of what you're seeing and in virtual reality there's also sort of haptics bill ten so I'm you're getting this kind of audio massage %HESITATION do an audio and visual and audio in this wonderful it's it is wonderful and of in so
00:04:14we were up its office of west are round we we read that parted with universal to kind of bring their %HESITATION it was that kind of behind the scenes peas there was a lot of Tom Cruise %HESITATION in in in VR so %HESITATION which it might also sound
00:04:33wonderful it yeah a lot of people I'm a lot of his fans of into our our her mission was really to %HESITATION you know not to not only of the kind of part with universal to to bring their story %HESITATION that they wanted to tell in this totally
00:04:54totally new way I'm but we wanted to kind of showcase what it would feel like to come in with %HESITATION kind of eight at a group of twenty people switch one twenty chairs built out of what would it feel like to come in with twenty people all be
00:05:13seated %HESITATION into Voyager and you know strapped into a head set in off you go for eleven minutes I'm into this experience which I simulated weightlessness and %HESITATION was about a lot of the making of the film mommy I'm and then really the reactions from people that that
00:05:35that came out of that were %HESITATION sort of you know some some jaw drop you know some sort of exclamation of like is this how we gonna get to see all films in the future like this is what I want ever heard of but there there was a
00:05:51a a social element to it and that everybody had just had this sort of experience together %HESITATION it had been moved through the story on using the Voyager motion and %HESITATION it in there is just isn't buzz I'm kind of coming out of it in in for us
00:06:11it it was kind of this imprint of like this is what we want you know we we often talk about BRB very isolating or which by the way you know %HESITATION I think can be a great thing are so I'm not against you know the kind of solo
00:06:27experiences that that that the people can have in BR but we wanted just to kind of create an environment where people could come out and and get excited together about what the about what they had just experienced on in we we definitely created that at south by southwest
00:06:44we you know also kind of solved a lot of the other things about he what does it mean to put the general public you know through V. R. experiences and what is that throughput look like and %HESITATION how do we ensure that everybody has the best possible %HESITATION
00:07:01experience %HESITATION and I would say you know even at south by southwest %HESITATION there were a large percentage of the people that that we've put through that experience where it was their first BR experience %HESITATION so it was %HESITATION it was a it was a great kind of
00:07:20kick off too and I think what what we're trying to do the company which %HESITATION is bringing this %HESITATION incredibly take this sort of incredibly emotional and sometimes intense on way to experience a story or narrative and put people in a safe comfortable place in take them through
00:07:42the story using our motion I love it so it then in in you touched upon something that I wanted to I want to kind of bring back up and this perception that you know despite the numerous social vis our applications out there there is there is a perception
00:07:59by the general public that virtual reality can be isolating and so when you bring people together in a room they all experience the same content simultaneously and there's this communal feeling that we just did something together which you know is similar maybe maybe I think is much more
00:08:17powerful than you know going into a movie theater and sitting down the seats we don't really go out of a movie theater high fiving the person his ranger that that that sat next to us right something like this where we actually have to your point this emotional ride
00:08:32together I I I I feel like it is this the future of movie theaters like how are you guys actually getting these chairs out there and how are consuming able to actually experience that yeah I'm too old all kind of start at the top of you know is
00:08:50this the future of the way that people will watch movies and I I know we don't see this as replacing %HESITATION you know what I'll just kind of call traditional film or or sort of these screens per se %HESITATION and or you know what will people continue to
00:09:08watch things on TV screens are yes %HESITATION they may be augmented right which is kind of a whole other topic but this this you know neat experience where the the starting point is that you are blocking out all other inputs coming from the real world right so your
00:09:32your your visual and in an auditory senses are being blocked in replaced by what were projecting through them %HESITATION I absolutely think there is a %HESITATION eight a future there and there's a now there for telling stories in this medium so you know what what we are in
00:09:56my my partner Jeffrey nine really set out to do %HESITATION with this company in in in in with this product Voyager was we just couldn't see how %HESITATION watching storytelling or %HESITATION really you know being in any kind of longer form BR meaning longer than two minutes was
00:10:20viable kind of with the current state of the technology %HESITATION and you know that the kind of language and and and a calculator for how stories can be told was was being limited on in a way by by the technology and so %HESITATION you know we ate and
00:10:39we had to create a more technology in a way too obscure on kind of the overhead that that the audiences were were being forced through putting this kept on with all the cables wrapping around their neck on potentially feeling discomfort in the experience %HESITATION and in so we
00:10:58were like what if you could just sit somewhere really lovely and really comfortable on our our backgrounds a company is in non real lot of experience in motion engineering %HESITATION and we thought that bringing motions to the VR experience %HESITATION is it now feels like a almost an
00:11:18essential on for me part of of being somewhere else if you touch upon that bringing a motion into VR so there's this again I'm gonna reference public perception here others into a public perception that sometimes your experiences can create nausea and it's not just a perception of course
00:11:43this is an actual thing it actually does happen I am one of the panel I'm one of the people that have never experienced in our I'm still looking for a tale of like that I'm still looking for like the terrible cardboard roller coaster experience it's going to make
00:11:59me feel that but I still I have an iron stomach apparently but you know it's I think it's something like less than point two percent I've users report any type of motion sickness in your Voyager chairs which is you know compared to about twenty percent of people who
00:12:14report any have a motion sickness sickness envy are in general so I'd love it if you could kind of talk a little bit more about bringing that motion adding haptics howling that helps lower that vestibular mismatched and it kind of tricky trigger brains a little bit more in
00:12:29actually being there and that's exactly what it is it's it's the you know it is that that particular system that were that were %HESITATION tricking were really were were were connecting to so %HESITATION yeah I am %HESITATION unfortunately one of those people who gets %HESITATION incredibly motion sick
00:12:51into you may RD made this check for yourself about %HESITATION I on the you know I am the resident Guinea pig %HESITATION in our office who and who has to test all all experiences that get that can go out on on Voyager and %HESITATION I spent a lot
00:13:14of time on you know being horizontal on the couch with an ice pack on my forehead so I'm yes I have a vested interest terrible in in reducing on the discomfort in hearing the motion and it's it's not just any motion in fact there can be motion they
00:13:33can get out into your experience which can make it ten times worse art so our our case in in in a lot of expertise as a company is creating motion tracks that here with the experience %HESITATION and bite here it's not mimicking the exact motion that's taking place
00:13:54in the peace so it's not necessarily following the camera or moving in exactly the same way %HESITATION that the camera is moving %HESITATION it's it's it's a it's a pairing of motion that that that we create using our %HESITATION you know sort of pitch in our in our
00:14:14yard movement that results in tricking your brain or kind of bouncing that particular system to say Hey it's fine that you're taking off from earth and that you're going up into the stars and it's really okay in it she looked on the no problems here is a look
00:14:35like then matching that content how how intense is that yes we did that the actual the the motion are that there that we're doing I mean there's no seatbelt in our in our head share it's on relatively gentle you don't need a lot I'm in order to kind
00:14:55of convince yourself that %HESITATION what you're seeing visually is is actually happening in in in and it feels okay I'm I would say so there's some pieces where you know if you think about pieces like how very traditional kind of library pieces at this point in the in
00:15:12in the DR cannon are like a take flight which was a publisher out on on on the New York times out early music where you serve lifting off from into the LA skyline in on you know so that sense of lifting from the ground and and you feel
00:15:29like you're getting pulled into the sky %HESITATION and then you know at the end of experience bears you drop down from the sky and come back down the street level you feel that in your got you you you that the motion on the crate with wager you you
00:15:46feel that you are being listed on but you're you know if you don't you don't feel a sense of being kind of discombobulated or or uncomfortable as part of that on but it's intense so I think we bring kind of a %HESITATION I a whole other level of
00:16:06intensity arm and also kind of immersion to that new to this story and I would just say also with the motion it is about feeling the sensation of the movement but we we we also kind of have a a whole other purpose to the motion and %HESITATION that's
00:16:28kind of something that they're do we call almost like a physical cinematography in that you can be moved on the creator of the piece you know can kind of direct to points of interest by using the Voyager motion so on okay sue how directors are like Reno really
00:16:50relying on sound right and lighting and to direct viewers attention are you sort of positioning the Voyager chair almost like a in some ways like a directorial like assistant yeah it yes it to create a it's another creative input so as part of kind of a post are
00:17:13you know you there in in in fact we've been working with some creators as early as %HESITATION you know Rick really even before before anything is in shock or or or created %HESITATION because they they they can go into it knowing okay I have the opportunity to move
00:17:32someone through an experience by using these kind of motion cues and so therefore I'm going to %HESITATION you don't I'm going to make these sort of %HESITATION edits or changes to migrate to make peace are going to capture it in this way that takes advantage of motion so
00:17:47work on work is we we we think of it in a way as a directorial cut of the peace on the Korean you obviously have agency %HESITATION as a as an audience member to still look around and you can you know do as you please in the space
00:18:03but you are being moved through the piece on in terms of your kind of frame for your point of view %HESITATION through it to the motion interesting okay very cool RAC then you dialed in a little bit I'm into the New York times piece what are some other
00:18:24pieces of content that you guys have brought into the into the void or chair yes we we have got a library %HESITATION at this point out of content in insert creators that that we've been working with %HESITATION in one of the one of the the focus is for
00:18:45us now is is is really partnering with a parting with creators in the studios %HESITATION on an outing in kind of their libraries or even their licensed content to our platform so that it it kind of had its Voyager ready in a way so that when we are
00:19:04%HESITATION in locations or or kind of certain events we are able to %HESITATION to exhibit two to exhibit their peace so we got kind of several partnerships and and %HESITATION in in studio relationships where %HESITATION where we can we can exhibit their content already knew a yeah I
00:19:24ask you guys were nice enough %HESITATION you came to that vis our scout hosts a monthly mixer series and you guys came to the last one it was funny I am insane up on our team she saw you guys at south by southwest let's why was originally kind
00:19:41of like on our radar right yeah yeah and %HESITATION you know when we had the mixer last month it was all about Hollywood movie are insane upset all my gosh we need to get positron and hear the chairs are so cool I love the money experience at south
00:19:56by southwest and so you guys were kind enough to come in and showcase a couple of chairs at the last mixer and although you were not on the panel for that particular mixer if you guys are interested in that panel discussion you can go to the V. our
00:20:10scout report podcast in its opposite sixty two and I just love the chair so much as like okay I need to get Jennifer on the show and you talk a little bit more about about the Voyager chairs and figure out what this actually looks like so when you're
00:20:25talking about like I think the you know feeder putting these in Peter's as is obvious I think music parks arcade all those things are kind of an obvious to me and I think that you know I think those are the the sort of low hanging fruit what are
00:20:37some of possibly unexpected areas are unexpected use cases like what are some things that wouldn't be as obvious yes the word we're looking at several different types of locations %HESITATION and movie theaters are are are are definitely %HESITATION you know make make sense for for some obvious reasons
00:21:04although you know our our focus is actually kind of more thinking through %HESITATION where are where is there already a lot of %HESITATION kind of people or foot traffic on who have a potentially kind of expendable time and or who can make this sort of eighty eight in
00:21:27destination so were were in discussions with some partners who have who are creating kind of DR specific %HESITATION locations for for entertainment %HESITATION and we we think obviously our border platform makes sense there on airports %HESITATION are weird and I I I think we will all see some
00:21:52some kind of any any airport yeah airports for her like I keep saying that on airplanes I mean obviously the chair isn't although I mean you know if I don't have any airplane manufacturers rather listening maybe this is how you just make your your airline shares give it
00:22:11make us all really nice and comfy and have these beautiful Coptic guided a gauge like aid could this cradle me and laid out in a red egg egg chair I in in an airplane keep saying yes that like for any type of like mobile VR headset the best
00:22:27use case is an airplane right now a block everything out you can't move anyway and airports are equally as miserable so I think I think I think we need somewhere to shares all all over the place in an airplane yes yes if there's anywhere where you really want
00:22:44to block out all all of these that that would be one of them I'm we're working on it %HESITATION in in so there there's there's there's certainly kind of those those spaces where are our people are seeking entertainment and weren't they have the time to kind of engage
00:23:02%HESITATION %HESITATION you know with something like Voyager and watching BR I'm you know we we are also %HESITATION %HESITATION working on just other kind of other markets where where this all makes sense so outside of entertainment %HESITATION and we think and sort of %HESITATION healthcare %HESITATION and kind
00:23:27of therapy it therapeutic on functions that that there's there could be a very powerful experience on their end and like wise there's also just mother sort of commercial commercial markets where I'm having a really are uncomfortable and and kind of reliable %HESITATION DR experience that that that that
00:23:51that works for cloud client base on would also make sense the word we're looking to other markets we are very focused right now on trying to %HESITATION up provide kind of entertainment %HESITATION a platform for the widest or sort of broadest possible audience so we'd use the comp
00:24:08your area soon who okay after an irate sue I want it I want to dig in a little bit to sort of this over arching theme that and that I think perhaps is obvious to you guys in in this is not necessarily a street to consumer product right
00:24:24like I am not going to be you know I'm not gonna be buying a Voyager chair for my home I don't know there might be some people out there who would but the vast majority of people are not going to install a Voyager chair in their home right
00:24:39so when we're talking about location based entertainment and you could like to find out for people because I think that you would have a really good unique perspective on what that means let's talk about that and what place that the wager shares in positron has in that sort
00:24:58of in this kind of a critical period of time we're in right now where the majority of consumers do not have any type of your hardware in their home so we need to turn to you out of home activations to show people how amazing this technology is like
00:25:14let's talk about let's talk about location based option for yes it makes it interesting because the arm there's so much focus on this you know and sort of disk latest resurgence of VR on that kind of direct to consumer %HESITATION sales and kind of distribution plan in it
00:25:36has to do with kind of just where we are digitally %HESITATION I think everybody's minds it was like oh well of course everybody wants to access all content digitally all the time and so kind of the the you know that that the market of your market sort of
00:25:49exploded onto the front with like weird digital download direct to consumer market and a you know I think of the the brakes on that have have have gone have gone on pretty pretty fast on probably in the last you know six months to a year there's been a
00:26:08lot of increasing discussion around %HESITATION he wait a minute %HESITATION this isn't going to be a kind of a way out while there is absolutely no cannot ignore the mobile the mobile market %HESITATION on this and that is going to be huge and and and will continue to
00:26:27grow but we're not you know we're not speaking to all consumers I'm through that in the end the experience that people are getting by yeah popping a cardboard you know on %HESITATION and just you know watching pieces like %HESITATION cool but there isn't kind of the same level
00:26:49of our motion Audi or connection or an experience that that I think we can put together %HESITATION as part of your experience in and %HESITATION I think there's also something about win win technology is is newer on the people in you know it is part of a community
00:27:12of a trying to kind of grow grow BR are responsible in a way for curating the experience and ensuring about what we're putting out there and what we're providing to people and it's really it's really about what kind of stories are we telling him what kind of experiences
00:27:30are giving people and it is it is a really great experience on and you can't cure rate %HESITATION in people's living rooms as much time as you can when you're kind of putting together a sort of protecting that experience in in in the out of home so %HESITATION
00:27:46decide economics you know I I think there's I think there's a reason to %HESITATION encourage people you know give them something that they can't get in their home and and and have them leave the living room and go somewhere kind of as a destination in order to enjoy
00:28:03a story telling in DR so yeah we we %HESITATION you know are really as a company we we started as a location based technology our firm for you know we did not consider although you know I I don't have yet but you know I'd like avoid you're my
00:28:25living room and maybe one day right there there is there is there is sort of a you know cut you know we are we are here set up but our our our focus is on providing something that you cannot get in your home if you come to a
00:28:43location and you know you on and and really all save this you know almost almost for her for any of your experience whether it be in our Voyager whether you standing experience if you're able to go somewhere and experience BR and be around people who are are comfortable
00:28:59kind of already with the technology and can help you in and out of experience you kind of can make some of the some of the overhead right now are some the anxiety that that the people feel disappear and when you make that disappear you allow them to immerse
00:29:16in what they're doing more and and so on you know I think our our forge a platform is it is a great example of that I think it adds kind of that motion and haptics we can meet me often integrate %HESITATION sometimes very subtly and sent %HESITATION in
00:29:33into what we're doing is if the narrative calls for its really you're getting sent involved in this is amazing yes we we we we see all of all of that is is is part part of the story telling part of suspending your disbelief that you are %HESITATION where
00:29:49you are and now you're you're somewhere else and I think we can do that out of home better than we can do that in people's living rooms right now and so there's a real opportunity in a real reason to to ask people to leave their homes and and
00:30:03and seek out storytelling in DR yeah I get out of your homes and and you can go buy a ticket guys awesome Jennifer is there anything at that leave should know %HESITATION about you guys that that that we have discussed yet we are getting for farmers but I
00:30:26would love it if you would also remind people where to find you %HESITATION all all that all that good stuff yes we are and where we're based in Los Angeles %HESITATION so come by our studio on when ever he would like you can find out where we are
00:30:44and connect with a sign that go positron %HESITATION on our website or Instagram or Twitter we kind of always or letting people know what we're up to I'm and you know I I think we are our our road map for what is possible and what we want to
00:31:03kind of contribute to to be are on is overwhelmingly feels feels and less right now and I think as a company were just so so excited to you and become partnering and and and helping to support that the that the creator community in and in the stories that
00:31:23they want a tall %HESITATION I I can't tell you the joy that we feel is a company every time somebody comes out of your experience in a wager and kind of has this look in their eye like %HESITATION okay this is where we're headed life I I like
00:31:40it I want you know I want to do my hair and %HESITATION were word just so excited about kind of all the new features that we're going to be bringing to that and and just being part of the art community so awesome Jennifer run down she is steel
00:31:56of positron you can check about it sounds like they're an ideal positron everywhere and they're still out go positron dot com and it's P. O. S. I. T. R. O. and not to be confused with the subatomic particle of the same name Jennifer thanks for coming on the
00:32:12show today thanks so much my I really enjoyed it this podcast is edited audio from a live stream should join us live for the next at real virtual showed

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