Nolan Bushnell launches Modal VR, a virtual reality system aimed at enterprise applications. Image Source: Venture Beat

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, is ready for a new venture. The Silicon Valley gaming launched the Modal VR platform on Wednesday to build a virtual reality platform for enterprises.

The startup Modal System allows establishing life-sized VR experiences with a groundbreaking technology that offers both a full-body gaming and free-roaming immersion into VR worlds. Existing gears only track the movement of the head and the hands.

The new company will offer end-to-end hardware and software solutions based on virtual immersion technologies. The Modal equipment includes a wireless VR headset and several sensors on the customer’s arms and legs.

The Modal VR CEO Jason Crawford, inventor of the technology, is the head of the company, while Bushnell stays as the chairman and co-founder. The pair hopes Modal VR will target industrial-grade immersion and that their system will help develop complex experiences that companies and organizations can offer to their consumers.

They are yet to determine the price and the release date of the product.

How does it work?

The Modal VR platform offers a portable VR system for enterprises. Owners can also download and install Modal VR applications to set up the platform in minutes. The platform must run on a Mac or a PC connected to the VR Fabricator.

Then, the Modal VR Command Center program app gives the system owners the ability to purchase, download and install  VR apps. The Command Center also provides an interface to configure and launch applications and manage the system’s settings.

The Command Center also offers an interface to configure and launch applications and administer the system’s settings. The Modal VR comes with a single Visor, but multiple users can connect to the same experience at the same time.

The sensors can track the users in areas as big a 900,000 square feet.  Players have to wear a full-body tracking suit so the sensors can follow them across the area.

The precision of the trackers captures the movements of the entire body and the physical expressions around the area. The company has not shared the specifications of the gear, but they assure the system will have under ten milliseconds of latency.

Also, the Modal VR comes with the Environment Authoring Tool, a feature that allows users to design and previsualize custom virtual reality worlds. It allows real exploration of the stage and real-time editing of VR environments.

The company advertised the gear with gaming footage, but Crawford and Bushnell have a bigger game in mind

The co-founders envision Modal as the titular place to get whatever VR developers need and believe the company should provide an app store for publishers who want to work with the Modal system.

Existing VR goes the consumer market, but Modal VR wants to go to industrial businesses and organizations.


The founders are already working on films and television studios to offer different ways to collaborate and visualize during production.

The company expects most consumers will experience their technology through shared experiences, but other possible uses of the VR includes themed entertainment, pre-visualization tools, virtual destination sampling for tourism, marketing, and virtual field trips for students.

Source: Modal VR