Cloudhead in Coombs leading the virtual reality world
BC Local News | John Harding
There was no way I was going to step over the edge of that cliff.
Neither was the Minister of Technology and Innovation, Amrik Virk.
It’s difficult to describe how real the Coombs-based company Cloudhead Games has made virtual reality.
Star Trek fans might get a better idea what it’s like from this description by Cloudhead Games president and creative director Denny Unger:
“It actually delivers on the promise of transporting you to another world,” said Unger. “It tricks your senses into believing you’re somewhere else. We call it the first generation holideck.”
Here’s what B.C. cabinet minister Virk said after he tried the technology:
“It was realistic — I was afraid to step one step further because it felt like I was going to fall off a cliff,” said Virk, in the region last week for B.C. Liberal caucus meetings. “Under water a whale came up and I wanted to reach out and touch it and I wanted to duck as the fin came by.”
Cloudhead Games was born in March 2013.
“We started in my garage,” said Unger. “We had three people who were leading the charge, blindly, to see where we could go.”
They grew and moved into the Town of Qualicum Beach’s digital studio, an incubator of sorts for small tech businesses like Cloudhead. They grew again and moved to a location close to Goats on the Roof in Coombs. They grew again and now are operating out of another location in Coombs, with 14 total employees.
Unger got some seed money for the company through the Kickstart crowd-funding website. Other funding followed through the help of the Innovation Island, a facilitator and liaison for the region’s tech sector, and the federal government’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.