Seattle-based Limitless VR has raised close to $1 million in a seed round of funding from investors that include “Heroes” actor Masi Oka and film music producer Jay Rifkin as well as funds like GAEA, The Venture Reality Fund, Colopl VR Fund and others.
Oka and Rikin are also joining the Limitless board of advisors. Limitless founder and CEO Tom Sanocki praised both of them not only for their connections to Hollywood, but also their deep insights into production technology. “Those people are really great for VR,” he told Variety. Oka may be best known for his role on the NBC drama “Heroes,” but he also used to work at Industrial Light & Magic as a digital effects artist before his acting career took off.
Limitless has been developing technology for responsive characters in virtual reality. The startup debuted its technology at the Game Developer Conference earlier this year with the help of the VR short film “Gary the Gull.” The animated experience features a talking seagull that directly responds to voice input and movements of the viewer.
Sanocki said that Limitless is currently working with multiple studios and startups to bring the same technology to other VR experiences in the near future. He added that the idea of responsive characters in VR immediately clicks with many viewers. “VR feels a little bit like real life,” he said — an illusion that’s only reinforced when characters actually respond to your actions. “Those things feel very natural.”