Velocity Garage augmented reality tour screenshot

Vertical is bringing the Velocity Garage to life

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new digital guided tour using augmented reality! When visiting the Velocity Garage for a tour, you will now be handed a tablet at reception where a small robot will greet you on the screen. “Hello, my name is Julia, and welcome to the Velocity Garage.” Next, the robot will walk you through the facility, including the assembly space, wet lab, workshop, and basketball court, along the way explaining our history, program, and the startups that work here.

The self-guided tour is made possible by Vertical, an augmented reality (AR) startup focused on developing mixed reality worlds. Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view (like Pokémon GO). The concept for Vertical began when Neil Mathew, Prasenjit Mukherjee, and Yan Ma were completing their Master’s Degrees at the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (WAVE Lab) at the University of Waterloo. With an interest in robotics, the founders pitched their idea for a drone software company at the Velocity Fund Finals in 2014 and won one of four $25K prizes, as well as workspace in the Velocity Garage. Pivoting their idea, the founders decided to look ahead to the future and change their business plan to incorporate AR.

With this new vision for the company, the Vertical team has begun focusing their attention on creating immersive tours for visitors, beginning with the Velocity Garage, and Communitech. The team has realized the huge potential of their technology, especially in museums. Their Guided tour product was recently launched in the Niagara Falls History Museum, adding an augmented reality layer to give a museum-goer a truly interactive and immersive experience. Museum administrators are also able to customize tours through software provided by Vertical.

The above video shows the basics of how Vertical’s product can really make a space come to life. You are able to add interactive components like text and video, as well as provide a window of knowledge directly into the artifacts themselves; “Let’s say you have a giant blue whale skeleton, normally a museum would have text cards with arrows to point to the features of the skeleton. What you can do with AR is layer the skeleton with markers to point out specific areas, add multimedia content as well as 3D animations that bringing the whale to life.”

With their technology, Vertical has big plans for the future.

“In the next few months, we will launch Guided tours with another five museums, and are experimenting with different types of content. Our ultimate goal is to be the “WordPress” of AR by building a template for users to generate their own augmented reality experiences with.” – Neil Mathew, Co-founder and CEO of Vertical

To keep up to date with Vertical, follow them on Twitter.