New England Tech is Game Development and Video Game Design students have enjoyed their time interning for Nexperience and have found it to be a very rewarding experience. Today’s start up could be the next Apple and these students are getting an opportunity to contribute at the ground level.
From The Providence Journal:
Shoppers at Warwick Mall get to test virtual reality software produced by Nexperience
By BARBARA POLICHETTI JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
WARWICK — The Warwick Mall carousel, tried and true with its poised steeds, had its fair share of riders Sunday as a gray day drew people indoors.
But some bypassed the merry-go-round and found a very different kind of ride when they stopped at a new kiosk in the mall that showcases the virtual reality software of a new Rhode Island-based company that hopes to make a name for itself.
Nexperience opened its kiosk — or “tech pod” — a couple of days ago to give people a chance to try out the virtual reality experiences it is creating.
People were invited to have a seat, pop on a special mask and headphones and then hop on a stomach-lurching roller-coaster ride through prehistoric terrain or take a more relaxing option and glide past the planets.
“Whoa!,” was the most frequently uttered exclamation as people grabbed the edge of their seats as they gazed into the electronic goggles that had them believing that they were being hurled about on a wild roller-coaster ride.
“Oh my goodness, it was so life-like,” said Staci Kolb, of East Greenwich, after she had watched her 11-year-old son, Christopher, laugh his way through the ride.”
“I felt like I had to hold onto the chair,” said Kolb, who also tried out the virtual ride.
“It was really like being on a roller coaster,” said Christopher, who then asked his mom if they could buy one.
Soon, but not yet.
Aaron James, one of three Rhode Islanders who recently launched Nexperience, said that the company hopes to have its virtual reality products for sale soon and predicts that they will be “hot items” come Christmas.
The company creates the visuals and the software that is teamed up with a special headset created by another company, Oculus.
James said that although Nexperience is new, its goals are big and potential product line limitless.
Virtual reality games are a first option because fun is a great way to introduce people to the technology, said Kevin Murphy of East Greenwich, who along with James and Eric Hall is a founding member of the company.
He was at the mall Sunday watching his 7-year-old daughter, Mary Grace, giggle as she “rode” the volcanic roller coaster over and over.
“It’s just like watching her play with blocks or a ball for the first time,” he said. “There is that sense of awe.”
James and Murphy said that beyond games, they have other plans for the technology. The virtual reality experience has many uses in education, they said, and also in job training.
Sensors put on participants can track how they respond to different scenarios, James said, noting that he thinks that Nexperience is capable of developing effective training software for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other “first responders.”
The company currently has work space at the Hatch Entrepreneurial Center in Providence and is staffed by five employees, who are augmented by more than a dozen interns from the New England Institute of Technology.
James said that the company is seeking corporate sponsors and plans to launch an Internet fundraising drive shortly.
“From education to entertainment, there really are an infinite number of possibilities,” Murphy said.