Virtual reality has been a fantasy of many ever since the idea was conceived. Films like The Matrix and Avatar have captivated audiences across the globe and countless individuals, including myself, have dreamt of exploring a digital world. If you’re a gamer, you might remember that Nintendo took their first stab at it with the release of Virtual Boy in 1995. A good idea, to be sure, but it very much had the feel of a first draft. Since then, Atlanta had an Olympic Games, Monica Lewinsky became a household name, and the Falcons played in a Super Bowl. With the advances made over the past 20 years, Atlanta-based ATLvr are ready to make your virtual dreams a reality. We recently chatted with the company’s co-founders to learn more.
Founded by Annie Eaton (CEO) and Peter Stolmeier (CTO), “ATLvr is ready to be your ambassador. The future is here, and it wants to make your acquaintance,” explains Eaton. “Virtual reality exists and we want to put it on your face. Get fanatical with our consulting team who not only has professional and technical know how, but also doesn’t mind geeking out from time to time. Try our program development that can even coax luddite trolls out from under their bridges and into enchanting, alternate universes. Join the revolution and be immersed in interactive experiences that will make your grandma realize the future is finally here.”
(the ATLvr Team)
If you’re wondering what problem they’re solving, Eaton will tell you confidently, “What problem aren’t we solving? We’re taking anything you wish was possible and making you feel like it’s real. By creating and providing interactive experiences to a variety of audiences, we’re making anything virtually possible. Not only do we have the goods to create the programs, we can also consult on virtual reality and its applications for people who might not even know it exists or want to know why and how it works. This technology that people have been dreaming of for decades is finally real and we are applying it in every possible market.”
Prior to the start of ATLvr, Annie spent time working in marketing in the power and financial industries. She graduated from Georgia Tech in 2010, where she earned a BS in International Affairs and Modern Languages. Eaton began her journey in virtual reality as an organizer of the Atlanta Virtual Reality Meetup group. Her co-founder, Peter, has been a virtual reality enthusiast for nearly three decades. Before his work at ATLvr, he held various positions in video production, animation, graphic design, and interactive game direction. Stolmeier is the father of the Atlanta Virtual Reality Meetup, realizing that this group needed to exist before the majority of the city knew what VR was.
As Atlanta residents, both of ATLvr’s co-founders are steadfast in their desire to further the city’s development as a tech hub. “We are based in Atlanta and are all either from here or have lived here for quite some time,” says Eaton. “Because of our strong roots in this community, we want Atlanta to be recognized as the East Coast hub for virtual reality. The city and its technology community is growing and evolving every day and we are determined to be a part of it.”
Eaton and Stolmeier are bootstrapping the company for as long as possible. Although they aren’t currently hiring any full-time positions, they look for freelance 3D designers and Unity developers from time to time. To learn more, or if you just want to hang out because, as Annie and Peter say, “we’re pretty cool people,” visit ATLvr.com today.