AI and VR development firm AiSolve has acquired Clay Park VR, an LA-based strategy and advisory consultancy headed by Oculus-alum Shauna Heller. Heller takes up the position of president of AiSolve’s newly formed North American operations.
The UK-base AiSolve was founded in 2010 and has grown to some 40 employees focusing on development of AI and VR tech and experiences. Among the company’s recent projects in the VR space is a virtual reality training pilot program for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and WePlayVR, a compact VR attraction for location-based venues.
Clay Park VR founder Shauna Heller worked previously as a Developer Relations Specialist at Oculus on the company’s Publishing and Content team where she focused primarily on curating non-gaming VR content for Gear VR. Heller founded Clay Park VR in 2016 to offer strategic advising for clients entering and navigating the VR sector. Among the projects she helped guide under Clay Park was the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles VR pilot program which brought together a portion of Heller’s network, including Facebook, Oculus, Bioflight VR, and AiSolve.
Starting in early 2016, the project sought to replace expensive and time consuming mannequin-based training, which costs the Hospital $430,000 annually, according to Dr. Todd Chang, as reported by VU Dream. The aim of the pilot program was to train staff using simulated trauma scenarios to ensure accurate assessment and decision making.
Following Heller’s work alongside AiSolve for the hospital pilot project, the company acquired Clay Park VR and is installing Heller as head of the company’s newly formed North American operations. The amount of the acquisition was not announced; the move appears primarily intended to pick up Heller’s business skills and foresight as a VR industry insider.
On the entertainment end of the VR spectrum, AiSolve also develops and sells WePlayVR, a modular VR attraction for location-based venues, consisting of a unique playspace layout around which the company develops bespoke content, making use of the playspace to give players the feeling of being in even larger environments. The turn-key system also comes with an HTC Vive and VR backpack PC, and operates on an annual license model.
Heller will coordinate the company’s operations through CA offices in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Palo Alto, supporting partnership development and deployment of the WePlayVR system.