BSkyB invests in virtual reality cinema specialist

Jaunt VRUK pay TV operator BSkyB has made an equity investment of US$400,000 (€300,000) in US-based virtual reality cinema startup Jaunt.

The investment in the Palo Alto, California-based company follows a US$350,000 equity investment made by Sky during an earlier round of funding in December 2013.

Jaunt announced its US$6.8 million funding round in April, including investments by BSkyB as well as Redpoint Ventures, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian and SV Angel. As part of that round, Tim Haley, partner at Redpoint Ventures, Peter Gotcher, Chairman of Dolby and DigiDesign Founder, and Stuart Murphy, Director of Entertainment at Sky joined Jaunt’s board.

According to Jaunt its cinematic virtual reality technology provides an immersive, 360° 3D video and audio experience for viewers.

Jaunt is supported by a team of advisors including Babak Parviz, creator of Google Glass and Brad Wechsler, chairman of IMAX.

Sky’s interest in Jaunt’s technology follows a wave of interest in virtual reality technologies including Sony’s Project Morpheus and Facebook’s US$2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift.

UK broadcaster the BBC announced earlier this month that it had tested the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.