Igloo Vision, the UK-headquartered Shared VR company, has set-up home in the Thornbury suburb of Melbourne.
The company designs and develops immersive 360° projection spaces, which act a little like a giant virtual reality (VR) headset. With wraparound sound and vision, entire teams can be immersed in any 360° or VR content. And, ranging in size from 3-to-21 metres in diameter, up to 750 people can be engaged, inspired or entertained.
In its ten-year history, Igloo has worked on several hundred assignments for many of the world’s biggest brands.
What exactly does Igloo Vision do?
Most of its work falls into three broad areas: experiences (using immersive environments to engage, inspire or entertain, for clients like Adidas, BBC, Colgate and Hyundai); simulation (recreating real-life scenarios, usually for training or familiarisation, for clients like BP, Medtronic and Gore-Tex); and Visualisation (enabling groups of people to understand how finished design concepts will look and feel, for clients like Hudson Pacific, Cushman & Wakefield and Skanska).
The new office is equipped as a ‘Shared VR Centre’ complete with a 6-metre Igloo system, available for clients and content creators to use to get a first-hand feel for Shared VR and to test their content. It can also be hired to host events or run collaborative teamwork sessions.
Igloo has had a presence in Australia since 2017, and has worked with some of the country’s biggest brands and public sector organisations, including Optus, NSW Environmental Protection Authority, Department of Defense and PwC. Now, with a growing demand for its services, it has established a bigger base with an initial team of five people.
The team is headed up by James Sheridan, a leading authority on the technical workings of multi-projector immersive environments. He studied for a PhD in Computer Science and Media Arts from the Australian National University, where he also spent nine years as a lecturer and tutor, and worked as a Consultant at EDM Studio Inc. building a variety of multi-projector, interactive environments. In 2012, he relocated to the UK to become Igloo’s first Chief Technology Officer, before establishing the Asia Pacific operations in 2017.
Alongside the Shared VR Centre, the office also serves as a base for Igloo’s Asia Pacific support team and the business development team. Existing clients in the region now have their needs serviced by a team working in their own time zones. The office is also in the process of delivering several new installations to a range of clients – including two prestigious universities and a contract with a Singaporean museum.
“It’s great to have found a new home at the heart of Melbourne’s technology community,” said Igloo Head of Asia Pacific James Sheridan. “With so much immersive and VR content now being produced, brands have been looking for a way to share it among teams, and Igloo meets that need. As a result, we’ve been growing quickly, and the Australian office enables us to accelerate that growth.”