Local, One of a Kind Company Launches with Over 40 Global Destinations to Explore on Platforms Including Steam and SideQuest

Local tech company AVROD have officially launched their virtual reality (VR) platform for users to explore global, historical and archaeological sites for free on Viveport, Steam, and SideQuest platforms. The platform is dedicated to digitizing and sharing the world’s archaeological and cultural heritage sites for study and exploration, and is pivoting as a Covid-19 solution to add remote travel and tourism.

Users all over the world are now able to virtually travel to 40 real-world, photorealistic locations within the United States, France, Mexico, England, Portugal, Australia, Egypt, Spain, Canada, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Japan, India, Belize, Mongolia and Guatemala. Users can access different locations by using a headset and their preferred platform to experience and interact with the world around them. In addition to Steam, Viveport, and SideQuest, it will be launching soon on the Oculus Store and for Oculus Quest VR headsets.

Jeremy Brooks started AVROD with the help of the Innovation Cluster and its Virtual and Augmented Reality Zone while an archaeology student at Trent University. Brooks won the Cubs’ Lair Entrepreneurship Competition in 2018 while in the early stages of AVROD, and by 2020 had created multiple simulations for Trent University’s Nursing Program as an extended service. The project demonstrated AVROD’s ability to create training programs outside of archaeology, bridging the gap between online learning and in-person learning through fully immersive technologies. 

According to Globe Newswire, the augmented and virtual reality market is expected to see an overwhelming growth of over $2 Billion Dollars by 2027. The current pandemic supports this growth, as industries start to turn virtual. Museums and other tourist attractions now offer virtual tours, and companies continue to look for ways to give customers an out-of-home experience. For instance, Amazon Explore launched in December. 

Brooks and AVROD’s Lead Developer, Manan Patel, have been working hard to bring AVROD to life.

“Our team of students and young professionals, many of whom are from the Peterborough and Kawarthas area, have achieved incredible milestones to launch Canadian-built AVROD globally including completely developing and launching AVROD remotely during the lockdown. Our team has made monumental progress in getting AVROD off the ground and we owe much of our success to the Innovation Cluster who has supported us completely during these challenging times.”

In addition to populating more locations to its platform, AVROD has other developments in the works to connect its members with world heritage and archaeological sites right from their home.

“The launch for AVROD is perfectly positioned as we deal with the global pandemic and a significant worldwide reduction in travel,” says Michael Skinner, CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “While people are asked to stay indoors, AVROD can provide an alternative experience for people who want to continue to experience the world with this at-home immersive experience. As virtual reality becomes more and more accessible, AVROD is very well aligned to benefit from the endless possibilities of this industry.” 

“We are expecting a global demand for our platform as people look to travel, explore, learn, and collaborate remotely and safely,” says Brooks. “As the company grows, we will be looking to create new jobs, starting here in Peterborough.”

Notable locations within the 40 to be explored include: 

  • Apollo 11 (Command Module) — United States
  • Arc de Triomphe — France
  • Big Head (Olmec Colossal Statue) — Mexico
  • Cave of Hands — Argentina
  • Obelisk — Egypt
  • Skara Brae — Scotland
  • Teotihuacan (the Temple of the Feathered Serpent) — Mexico
  • The Oval Office — United States
  • The Parade Armor of King Erik XIV of Sweden — Sweden
  • Tholos of Delphi — Greece
  • Torii Gate at Kinosake — Japan
  • Palenque Ruin Maya Relief — Mexico
  • Reproduction of the Cave of Horses (7000-4500 Years Old) — Spain
  • Robert Gaskin Wreck — Canada
  • Virtual tour by on-site archaeologist at Bronze Age site in Gobi Desert — Mongolia

Visit AVROD’s website: https://www.avrod.com/ 

Download AVROD on Steam  SideQuest  Viveport

AVROD is also currently available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR headsets and is coming to the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Store.