The virtual reality (VR) application Timelooper (www.timelooper.com) made a fantastic impression at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, bringing its mission of changing the way that we experience the past to a US audience for the first time. Some of the team behind Timelooper demoed the app’s special take on VR content on stage during the conference’s Startup Battlefield.
Timelooper is location-locked, meaning the user must be at the location they want to experience for the magic of Timelooper to come through. The app transports visitors to iconic moments in history through 360° virtual reality videos that align with real world locations and landmarks. The stories featured in the app recreate historic moments and cultures through visual restorations of the buildings of the time, people in historically accurate costumes and historical relics.
During the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield presentations, TimeLooper recreated V-J Day in Times Square (even the famous kiss from Eisenstaedt’s photograph) live on stage. At Disrupt, Timelooper was awarded the Hot Desq Award, given to the startup with the most potential to be a global player, with a prize of $50,000 (AUD) to relocate to Queensland, Australia and grow the venture.
It is very difficult to make a great use of VR that interacts with the “real world” because VR is all about overwriting the first-person experience, but Timelooper does exactly that. Forcing users to compare the world around them today with the view within the VR environment is an ingenious way of realizing some of the potential of virtual reality that is coming in the coming months and years. Timelooper has been adding locations and experiences to the application and brought New York City into the family just in time for their presentations at TechCrunch Disrupt.
Timelooper is available on both iOS and Android devices as a free download; there are in-app purchases that bring additional content to the application at certain locations.