THETA Corporation (Head Office: Nakano Ward, Tokyo; President Masahiko Suzuki, hereinafter, "THETA") and Beijing Pico Technology Co., Ltd (北京小鳥看看科技有限公司) (Head Office: Beijing, China; Representative: Zhou Hongwei, hereinafter, "Pico") will jointly start holding events from December 2016 for people to experience live-action VR content for free. The events will held at iCafe Internet cafes operated by Kaji Corporation and Jiyu Kukan Internet cafes operated by RUNSYSTEM CO., LTD. (Company names in Japanese phonetic order.)
■Event Roles of Both Companies
Specializing in VR and AR, Pico provides products, services, and solutions to Asia, North America, and Europe. At these free events at Internet cafes in Japan, Pico will have a booth providing Pico Neo, a standalone, VR head-mounted display that does not require a PC or smartphone.
THETA is a company specializing in the planning, shooting, and editing of high-quality, live-action VR videos. They have high-sensitivity cameras developed in-house (patent pending) for shooting very steady stereoscopic videos. They produce and deliver diverse live-action VR content.
At these free events, THETA will have various VR content featuring pop idols, models, VR music videos etc., installed in the Pico Neo so customers visiting these Internet cafes in Japan can experience it for free.
*Content to be available at these events (specific examples):
Stereo VR Contents"----- THETA Corporation (Japan)
Evil Robot Traffic Jam"--- Element Games (America)
Waddle Home"----------- Archiact (Canada)
Audio Arena"------------- Skydomestudios (Holland)
Terminator"---------- Artfire Games (China)
Content for viewing at the events
VR content featuring Idol College members (Ms. Sato, Ms. Kagesawa, Ms. Kaminaguchi, etc.)
*Photo is only a sample.
In 2016, a variety of VR head-mounted displays went on sale in Japan. However, there are a few hurdles for the ordinary consumer to buy a display device and easily view the content. The free events where people can try VR content are also held only in limited areas. And so Japan does not yet have an environment where the masses can easily experience VR content.
With this in mind, we believe this will be an important opportunity to have mass consumers experience quality VR content for the first time and become aware of VR's potential enough to purchase head-mounted displays.
So together with the following Internet cafe chains in Japan, we will jointly hold free "VR experience" events.
■Venues and Internet Cafe Details
Free VR experience events will be held from December 2016 to April 2017 at iCafe Internet cafes and manga cafes run by Kaji Corporation mainly in the Kanto and Kansai Regions.
Venues in 2016
[Miyazaki Prefecture] iCafeBiVi, Sendai Branch, December 17th–18th
[Saitama Prefecture] iCafe, Yashio Branch, December 24th–25th
Planned Event Sites in 2017
Osaka Prefecture, Fukuoka Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Okayama Prefecture, Kagoshima Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, Tokushima Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture
iCafe official site: http://kaji-icafe.com
2) Jiyu Kukan
At five "Space Create Jiyu Kukan" Internet cafes operated by RUNSYSTEM CO., LTD. in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Fukuoka, and Kyoto, a free rental campaign will be held from December 22nd, 2016 to January 9th, 2017.
Branches Providing Free Rentals
[Hokkaido] Jiyu Kukan, Urban Sapporo Branch
[Tokyo] Jiyu Kukan, BIGBOX Takadanobaba Branch
[Tokyo] Jiyu Kukan, NEXT Kamata Nishiguchi Branch
[Kyoto] Jiyu Kukan, Kawaramachi Branch
[Fukuoka] Jiyu Kukan, Tenjin Sazan-dori Branch
Jiyu Kukan URL: https://jiqoo.jp
By holding the above events and having ordinary consumers nationwide visit the above Internet cafes and view our VR content, we can expect people's awareness of VR and its potential to spread further.
THETA will continue to provide opportunities for more people to experience high-quality, live-action VR content and actively promote the spread of live-action VR.
Head Office: YS Garden 704, 2-1-8 Honcho, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established: January 6th, 2016
Representative Director: Masahiko Suzuki
Capital: ¥5.8 million
Lines of Business: VR video production, VR content delivery
Beijing Pico Technology Co., Ltd (北京小鳥看看科技有限公司)
Head Office: Beijing, China (北京市海淀区学院路35号世宁大厦20-21階)
Established: April 27th, 2015
CEO: Zhou Hongwei
Capital: RMB 10 million
Lines of Business: Manufacturing and development of VR and AR devices, platform operation