April 18, 2017
SNL Kagan: Tell me how you started a VR company when it was so nascent, before there was money to be made? David Cole: The company actually was founded as Next 3D in 2009 around a compression technology for 3-D televisions, and we built that with a number of partners, including Turner, and ultimately we worked with ESPN at ESPN 3D. The compression technology basically reduces the bandwidth required to carry a 3-D programme. Then, in 2012, we made a very aggressive early pivot to deliver to VR. So we’ve been doing this a long time, and the reason was, we very institutionally believe that VR is going to be the best place to play out stereoscopic content, that this is going to be the device, unlike 3-D television that ushers in a sea change. We built our entire VR pipeline on top of a mature broadcast pipeline that was already in place, that was already battle tested. We were up and running really fast, in late 2012/early 2013, which in VR was like duct tape-and-cardboard prototype level.