TruVision allows the user to virtually experience a new structure, environment or building by letting them grasp a sense of scale in a way which a traditional blueprint simply can’t. The user gets a “feel” for the place that would otherwise have to wait until it was actually built. This has the added benefit of allowing users to spot any issues before they are built, which can save both money and time.
The idea is the brainchild of four Plymouth University graduates Joe, Connor, Gary and Lewis. Their working backgrounds cover everything from web design and business to 3D modelling and game design — basically everything required to push TruVision forward.
The big idea
Make virtual reality a reality in the architecture industry!
As you can probably imagine, such technology does not come cheap. The graduates decided to crowdfund to give their start-up a much needed boost. One of the founders, Connor Handley-Collins, explained to us why else they decided to crowdfund: “As a start-up, crowdfunder inspired us to reach out to the public, enabling us to show what we are capable of by providing a reputable platform to ‘test the water’ and receive good public feedback on.” This allowed them to gauge the public interest in their idea and help decided whether or not it was a viable one.
It was! In the end they smashed their target of £6K raising a grand total of £8,001 — very impressive indeed! They received extra funds courtesy of some matchfunding. Connor explained:
“Our first matchfunder, GAIN20, has brought us into a special network of innovative companies in the south-west, this is helping propel our company to the next level with expert advice from larger successful companies, and smaller innovative companies like ourselves.
“Our second matchfunding was from Plymouth City Council. They provided a platform showing the surrounding area that they had belief in us, since then we are currently in talks about providing further VR work to the surrounding communities.”
River Cottage have also expressed an interest in their clever idea, and Connor told us they “really wanted to use this breakthrough technology to demonstrate the new project that they are about to start, giving us a real boost in confidence from such a large company.”
The pledge rewards
Pledges ranged from £5 to £2,000 and really touched on the technological nature of this project. For example, backers that pledged £400 could design a room and then have it modelled in Virtual Reality.
In the press
The campaign was featured in an article in the Plymouth Herald about the most dynamic businesses in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.
Connor told us the future plans for the company: “TruVision is leaping forward within the construction industry, now that virtual reality headsets are becoming more accessible to the general public the industry is becoming more adaptable. We are exhibiting at Grand Designs LIVE in London at the end of April, and are also the Main feature at Vision London, providing a virtual reality experience of London’s famous Shard.”
What they said
“We were fearful we wouldn’t raise any money – that was the scariest thing! But I liked the element of all or nothing, it makes you try harder and really brings out the determination in you.”
Tips to project owners
Connor has five top tips for future crowdfunders:
1. Just go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose!
2. Know your network and your audience to maximise your chances of reaching your target.
3. Make use of the most powerful connections you have no matter how large or small.
4. Offer something unusual to your backers.
5. Enjoy crowdfunding, it’s fun!
- Visit the TruVision project page to find out more.