Nevada County Believes in Virtual Reality
Nevada County has had a lot of success in the video broadcast industry. They’re now trying to create more success with the Green Screen Institute, to enable startup companies to pursue technology that can help widen people’s view of real world things and locations or help create virtual worlds.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted the Nevada County Economic Resource Council $500,000 to take action on its plans for a digital media campus. The goal of the campus is to retain and keep entrepreneurs that are in the virtual reality field.
The councils’ executive director, Jon Gregory, said, “We have … to take advantage of the unique assets of Nevada County around the legacy of video broadcast companies, the high degree of content- and video-related expertise and the serene outdoors environment. We wanted to pick a niche that was authentic and legitimate for our efforts.”
After lots of research in partnership with tech and venture capital experts at San Francisco’s Touchdown Ventures, the council decided that Nevada had the talent as for people and had the infrastructure as well in order to be successful in augmented and virtual reality initiatives.
Augmented reality can allow someone to point a device such as a smartphone at real world objects and at that moment have audio, video, graphics or a variety of data populate onto a screen.
With virtual reality, people wear equipment such as VR headsets which enable them to interact in a simulated environment that’s 3 Dimensional.
Research and Markets is a big research company. In March, they published a report that estimates VR and AR will have annual growth rates of 67 percent from 2015 to 2020. Globally, VR and AR was a $4.5 billion industry in 2014. However, in 2020, it’s projected that the VR and AR industry could bring in over $105.2 billion.
VR and AR companies are global, Sony is in Tokyo, Aurasma is in London and San Francisco and Nvidia is in Santa Clara. That’s just to name a few. And the potential for VR and AR has not even scratched the surface yet.
Jon Gregory said, “We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the hundreds of incubators and accelerators around the country. We wanted to do something where we truly believed we could become a global center of excellence. There is a pretty vast history of video broadcast equipment technology companies, and the Grass Valley Group obviously is the forerunner historically, but in addition to that, you have companies like Telestream, AJA Video Systems and Ensemble Solutions. There’s a cluster of unique expertise of companies that have dealt with studios and media companies and content and video that goes back 50 years.”
The Green Screen Institute is going to be a business accelerator, a place for established companies to work and a place for people to train and learn about digital technology. It’s campus is going to be located in Nevada City. It’s just around 200 yards away from the Telestream campus. Telestream’s CEO, Dan Castles is going to be one of around 20 different tech executives that will be serving on The Green Screen Institute’s board.