10 Years Of VR

10 years ago the first iPhone was more than a year away. Google Street View had well over a year until launch. Facebook wouldn’t become open for another 6 months. Palmer Luckey the founder of Oculus was 13 years old and VR as a head mounted modern technology was almost a decade from realisation.

But 10 years ago, specifically at 5:22pm on March 8th 2006 a very important thing was happening at Panedia.

It’s the day I shot the very first panorama (above) in what was to become our Panorama Production System. It’s around the time Michelle (my wife) and I decided to risk everything we had on VR and it’s close to the day Panedia was registered as a company. So it’s the day we celebrate 10 amazing years of Panedia.

10 years ago I was starting on a new journey. Sure I had been shooting panoramas for 6+ years at the time, but not as my only source of income. From that day onwards I was dedicated only to VR. Not only dedicated but prepared to spend every dollar I had and more, building a company and system to produce VR better and faster than ever before, and importantly with GPS data for online mapping. Many hundreds of thousands of dollars and years later, we have what I regard as the best professional panorama system there is.

With our systems we have become the number one contributor to Google Maps worldwide. In fact just today we received an email from Google congratulating us on 175 million views of our VR content on Google Maps. From our systems we have developed Google Underwater Streetview, producing more underwater VR content than has ever existed before, enabling hundreds of millions of people to take virtual dives in our precious oceans. In addition to the content we produce, we’ve also built multiple VR CMS’s for ourselves and clients like the University of Queensland and Underwater Earth.

Starting with little old me, a Nikon D200 + 10.5mm fisheye, a 360Precision panorama head, a lot of great ideas and even more grit we’ve managed to build one of the world’s foremost VR companies. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have very talented people join Panedia over the years, enabling us to consistency produce a quality and quantity of content that few can match. In recent years we’ve also been producing Virtual Reality experiences using 360video that are universally praised by people who know VR.

I could go on for many pages singing the praises of our wonderful Panedia people, while telling stories of the amazing clients we’ve worked with, but I’ll stop now, and say to all who’ve been involved in our story in any way, thank you. Really, if you’re reading this, and we’ve ever met, talked on the phone, skyped, emailed or facebooked thank you for being part of our life.

So much has happened at Panedia in the past decade, it’s been an exciting, crazy, wild and satisfying ride. As we start a new decade today, we open a new chapter in the story and we begin the next journey. MUCH MORE to come, stay tuned.