Modal VR Is A Next Generation Virtual Reality Platform From Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell

The biggest push in virtual reality is coming from the gaming sector with headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but there's a world of opportunity beyond games for VR. Ironically enough, Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese and widely regarded as the father of the video game industry, is spearheading an effort to tap into VR's potential in other sectors with Modal VR, an industrial-grade VR immersion platform built for businesses.

Unlike the Rift and Vive, Modal VR is a wireless system that doesn't need to be hardwired to a powerful PC (not the headset, anyway). The portable hardware sets up in minutes and provides fast and accurate full-body tracking. It also supports multiple users at once, whether they're crammed in a small room or a larger area up to 900,000 square feet. On top of that, Modal VR supports multiple instances, so you can network areas for an even bigger field.

Modal VR

While PC gaming isn't the focus here, Modal VR can be used to create large-scale VR arcade experiences, such as laser tag, along with themed entertainment. Beyond that, there are several applications that Modal VR can assist with, particularly in training scenarios for law enforcement, emergency response, and military and space. Virtual field trips in education and immersive exhibits in museums are also possible, as are things like film and TV where a director can previsiualize a set or stunt.

"Modal VR is helping enterprises solve problems and collaborate differently," said Nolan Bushnell, co-founder and chairman, Modal VR. "Modal VR’s system and the software that runs on it makes it very different than what’s already on the market today."

As cool as Modal VR appears, don't expect to buy one for your home. The company says that Modal VR for home use would probably be cost prohibitive. It would also require a level of technical savvy that the average person doesn't have.

"We are focused on enterprise applications and typically only sell to other companies. We expect consumers will encounter Modal VR through the experiences our partners offer, whether it be gaming, education, training, eSports, mixed-reality television programming, etc," the company states in an related FAQ.

At the heart of Modal VR is the VR Fabricator, a rack system that connects to a PC or Mac running Modal VR's Command Center software. This is what provides the infrastructure for Modal VR experiences, though the company is keeping mum on the exact hardware specifications at this time.

Modal VR launches today, so if you're a developer or want to inquire about business opportunities, head over to Modal VR's website to get in contact with the company.