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Virtual Reality Startup Realityvirtual.co Awarded Prestigious Epic Games Mega Grant

New Zealand startup realityvirtual.co have just been awarded a Mega Grant from Epic Games, an American video game and software developer, best known for its online action game Fortnite. These grants stem from a $100 million USD ($164 million NZD) fund for people doing amazing things with Epic’s Unreal Engine, a game engine first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal.

Imagine being able to visit the most beautiful and culturally significant locations in New Zealand with your friends and family without leaving the comfort of your home. This is what NZ-based startup realityvirtual.co will make possible. Users will be immersed in photorealistic NZ scenes and interactively exploring them together in Virtual Reality (VR)

realityvirtual.co is one of only two NZ companies to win such an award. “Honestly. This brought me to tears, it’s been a hard many years for us struggling to make our case heard”, realityvirtual.co’s CEO Simon De Boer says.

realityvirtual.co is known for their immersive VR experiences from around the world, such as the Large Hadron Collider, and Queen Nefertari & King Tutankhamun's Tombs in Egypt. They won the prestigious Lumiere Award for best VR Educational Experience in 2020.

Founder and CEO Simon Che de Boer is a renowned photogrammetrist and VR content creator. He has personally received international recognition for the quality of his photo-realistic virtual experiences. Forbes, TechCrunch and other reputed publications have all featured De Boer’s work. Many notable players of the Visual Effects (VFX) industry refer to such VR projects to demonstrate the potential of this new immersive medium.

The funding will be used to improve the process of making virtual copies of places and digitizing beautiful NZ locations, including iconic beaches, Saint Matthews Cathedral, Sir James Wallace Homestead, and more.

The experiences will be distributed for free on the popular games platform STEAM. Although current travel restrictions make it difficult for people to physically come to New Zealand, they will soon be able to be in the country virtually, and see it in a way that has never been experienced before.

The technology from realityvirtual.co relies heavily on deep learning / machine learning and the latest in VR technology. They are working closely with Epic Games, Amazon Web Services, NVIDIA and other parties, to make these technologies mainstream.

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