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Immerse yourself in cinematic virtual reality

Sector: Futuremedia

The idea for Jaunt originated in early 2013 when one of the founders returned from an amazing experience at Zion National Park. What if he could go back there for a brief jaunt, at any time, from any place? The emerging consumer VR industry provides the mechanism to travel to virtual worlds. Jaunt aims to put realism back into the virtual reality experience, lending an uncanny sense of presence never before possible with any other technology.

Jaunt develops hardware, software, tools and apps to enable artists, brands and consumers to make cinema-grade virtual reality content. On the artistic side, the company is now working with former Beatle Paul McCartney on six VR mini documentaries to promote his newest album, called “Pure McCartney VR,” due out June 10. The VR documentaries are being produced by Jaunt Studios with a run time between 3 and 11 minutes each. They can be seen either as 360-degree videos on Jaunt’s website or in VR through the company’s mobile app.

There’s been no shortage of virtual reality gear introduced on the market over the past several years, including smartphone-based cardboard systems from Google that cost around $15, all the way to the $600 computer-tethered Oculus Rift. Jaunt believes that once consumers experience the rich immersions of VR technology, they’ll be hooked and drive demand for more high-quality VR content that the company provides.

The company hasn’t been without its growing pains. In late May, co-founder Jens Christensen stepped down as CEO, citing the need for a different kind of leader to take the company forward, and was replaced temporarily with co-founder Arthur van Hoff while the board searches for a new CEO.

The company has raised a little more than $100 million from Evolution Media, Participant Media and Disney. The giant entertainment company is a particularly good connection for Jaunt, given that it owns entertainment-rich content such as the ABC network and ESPN.

Extracted from CNBC Disruptors50 2016

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