Here are two opinions you’ll hear a lot in virtual reality business circles today: Short experiences are better than long ones, and Apple-like app stores will win the day.
Wevr is hoping that both of those beliefs are wrong. Best known for a demo in which users come face to face with a whale underwater, the Los Angeles-based VR studio is trying to drum up interest in its virtual reality content platform, with an emphasis on longform video and the “open Web.”
“We see virtual reality as so broad that it can’t be confined to app stores,” CEO Neville Spiteri said. The technology Wevr is developing, he added, is intended to make it possible for creators to make something once and publish it on the myriad of VR devices heading to market.
That’s more complicated than it sounds, because those devices can be dramatically different. Some are powered by Android smartphones, while others run on sophisticated personal computers. When a VR app made for the PC won’t run on a phone, for example, Wevr’s plan is to offer users — via apps or embeddable Web widgets — the ability to buy and remotely download that software to their more powerful computers.
(This might sound familiar if you follow the console gaming world, where Microsoft and Sony offer smartphone apps that can remotely download games to the Xbox and PlayStation).
“We want to make it frictionless for people who peruse VR to find content,” co-founder Anthony Batt said. “We want developers to know for sure, ‘I can get this out there.'”
The studio has already convinced some Hollywood talent, including “Pulp Fiction” screenwriter Roger Avary and “The Walking Dead” producer David Alpert, to sign on to this plan. Simultaneously, it’s developing more of its own content, including a longer version of theBlu (the CGI whale demo) as well as several live-action video projects, including a 12-minute video/CGI film starring comedian Reggie Watts and a 40-minute trap music concert film.
Batt disagreed with the conventional wisdom that consumers won’t sit through a 40-minute virtual reality experience.
“If you’re on your phone, you can just go, ‘Oh, I got an email,’” he said. “But when you’re immersed and you’re watching things that are interesting, or reliving this memory, time sort of collapses. It’s pretty powerful.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.