Originally Published: August 7, 2018 5:31 p.m.
Since May, Sean Souva has been operating his virtual reality business, Virtual Odysseys, while based out of Chino Valley and serving the Prescott, Flagstaff and Phoenix areas.
Recently, he was at the Fandomania comic con event in Prescott Valley where his virtual reality experiences were a big hit and at one point, he had five minute sessions booked out for an hour and a half.
“It didn’t stop, the moment we got set up until we broke down. We ran all the way,” Souva said. “(There is) definitely some interest in what we do.”
Late last year, Souva said he decided to investigate the potential for virtual reality locally and statewide and realized there’s some decent business to be had. The name Virtual Odysseys he got from a friend who had a similar name with a computer business in the late 1990s, he said. It sounded good and played into the experiences virtual reality gives, Souva said.
Souva doesn’t just take Virtual Odysseys to events and parties though. He said he’s looking to pursue such things as team building exercises with a game he’s hoping to get licensing permission from the developers called “Star Trek Bridge.” Four players act as a crew on a Federation starship and have to work together to complete a mission.
There’s also trade shows, Souva said. Many companies are producing software they want to show off but while they have the equipment in-house, the level of interaction with people and displaying the product at a trade show might demand professionalism they’re unable to put forth, he said.
“That’s where we can fit in,” Souva said. “We can go to them and say ‘we’ll create a nice booth for you, we’ll handle the hardware, we’ll handle the interaction with customers. You can talk the product.”
Every opportunity he has to put himself in front of people he takes, he said. Right now, virtual reality is at the point in its growth where smartphones were when the iPhone came out, and there is a lot of exploration as to how it could be used, Souva said.
“Everyone recognizes the potential. One of my challenges was is there enough different things out there I could serve in terms of how people are using the technology,” he said. “When it comes to doing VR, describing it is inadequate. People need to experience it. Put on the goggles, they see what it’s about. They’re like ‘now I get it’ and they’re far more interested.”
For more information on Virtual Odysseys, visit www.virtualodysseys.com.