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Waterloo-based Ctrl V setting the stage for growth of virtual reality technology beyond gaming industry


It’s an experience not many of us have had but it’s quickly growing in popularity and all started right here in Waterloo.

Virtual reality is a way for someone to be completely immersed in any type of simulation.

This can be for games, but also a growing number of areas, such as emergency services and education.

Ctrl V in Waterloo is Canada’s, and arguably North America’s first virtual reality arcade and has already expanded its service to these new areas including partnering with the University of Waterloo to conduct research at its facility.

CEO Ryan Brooks tells 570 News they are also working alongside local EMS and paramedics for training purposes.

“A lot of the scenarios that they would set up for training of fire and emergency response teams, they know that that is simulated, and as much as this is as well, the experience is so realistic that you feel like you’re there.”

When it comes to the gaming world, Brooks says the hype around virtual reality is similar to the popularity of 3-D films when they came out.

“People want to be more and more engaged with the content that they’re watching, and I think that is what this does. It bridges the gap between just simply being a passive viewer and actually allows you to participate in the action.”

As for what is next, like the industry itself, Brooks says they plan on continuing to expand.

“We just opened up four stations at the Landmark Cinemas in Waterloo (…) I just got back from Edmonton and we have partnered with a pretty major company and then we’ve got our first franchise opening up in the next few weeks as well in Guelph.”

He says this type of emersion is really exceeding anything else that has been done before.

If you want to check it out for yourself, on November 5th Ctrl V is doing 24 hour VR marathon in support of Sick Kids hospital. You can book a time here.