NOLO VR, the Beijing-based VR startup behind one of the earliest mobile 6DOF tracking platforms, announced the completion of the $15 million series A+ financing.

The funding round was led by Joy Capital, followed by BlueRun Ventures and Peakview Capital.

Joy Capital’s involvement in Nolo’s latest funding round comes alongside a broader $700 million investment in various early stage startups across a variety of sectors. The Beijing-based venture capital firm is also a key investor in a number of hot ticket Chinese startups including bike sharing company Mobike, Starbucks competitor Luckin Coffee, and Tesla competitor NIO.

The series A+ funding round brings the company’s overall funds to $24.5 million, according to Crunchbase.

Image courtesy Nolo VR

Nolo VR says in a press statement that its fresh round of financing will be “mainly spent on the continuous R&D and commercialization of its VR tracking technology.”

Founded in 2015, Nolo VR has since commercialized both its main hardware platform, Nolo CV1, and its Nolo Home streaming software, which allows Oculus Go and Gear VR headset users to  play SteamVR games.

Nolo CV1 is a wireless 6OF tracking device based on the company’s PolarTraq technology, which is based on an optic-acoustic-radio-signal tracking technology developed by the company. It includes a room-mounted basestation for 6DOF head & motion controller tracking, a head-mounted marker, and two motion controllers.

Up until now, Nolo VR claims to have invested more than $15 million in VR tracking technology, with 125 patents authorized or accepted globally, and the international patents applied in 12 mainstream countries.

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  • Needs to be inside out or it’s going to fall behind. Any long-term continued market for retrofitting 3DOF will likely be quite niche.

    • asdfasdfasdf

      youre so far off… Base station tracking is superior to inside out for a few technical reasons. this offers the base station tracking at a fraction of the price for those that really want it.
      inside out requires wider cameras and more internal tracking devices to figure things out while tracking stations stay positioned, saving the device a ton of computing as well as saves them problems by putting these cameras on devices that are aggressively moved around.

      • Technical superiority only matters to the point of diminishing returns. If it comes with increased costs and complications, along with decreased simplicity and ease of use, there’s a pretty wide spread that average consumers would prefer to bridge with more intuitive, user friendly solutions. The Quest is the prime example of this.

        Sure there is a hardcore group of VR enthusiasts who will spend 3x the money just to get the “best” experience with the Index, but they don’t represent the overwhelming number of potential consumers – and a company who is making pieces you can duct tape to Gear VR is certainly not going to overtake that market segment anytime soon regardless.

        Inside-out tracking has always been the end goal, and already affords results that are acceptable for the vast majority of users at a low cost with very reasonable hardware requirements. This is the wisest course of R & D. Mixing in technologies that can address occlusion like ultrasonic would be a good start, but it’ll get there eventually.

        • asdfasdfasdf

          its about a 100$ device that allows you to do things that only 400$ devices do…. so it will come with decreased cost and most likely less complicated solution than buying a full vr pc and vr setup.
          Nobody said it would win or take over the market… its just a new accessibility for some.

          whats your issue with this? if its a cheaper solution that lets people play ball with others on devices they cannot afford, then they have a market.

          and everything in the vr industry is technical at this point. LOTS of people stuck with base stations because they preferred that type of tracking. superiority has a great effect on the market right now because all of these devices are expensive and only people with extra cash can afford them as a luxury and people with extra cash like to have the best.

          • My issue is that if they want to survive as a company long-term they should be focusing on inside-out technologies. This is where the market is heading, except perhaps what may end up being a few niche markets none of which will be low-end like they’re targeting here.

            Portable AR/VR devices that offer inside-out tracking on par with today’s best beacon/marker etc. systems are on their way; they will wipe out everything else, and inevitably include the ability to connect to a PC or standalone just as the Quest almost included. 3DOF devices that require retroconversion are already a niche, expecting this to continue as a market is ill-advised. Not to mention a PC that can take advantage of what it’s offering is still a premium purchase required to a provide a usable ecosystem to NOLO. It’s certainly not worth $15 million in investment.

            A decent corollary would be Sega’s decision to attempt prolonging the Genesis’ lifespan with the Sega CD and 32X. The rest of the market had already moved on to better solutions built from the ground up to do what Sega was trying to bolt onto an old system, and it sunk them. I like NOLO, Pico, and all these smaller players trying to innovate but I’d caution focus on the long-term. Address occlusion and inside-out is already essentially on par with any other solution.

          • asdfasdfasdf

            I think these are good mediums until then. Again theres just a big difference between putting trackers on mobile devices and putting the full sensory and motion devices on a mobile device.

            but after that, your right itll be outdated by standalone headsets.

          • I hear you. And I do see the thought process behind products like this. Turning a dusty Gear VR into a 6DOF VR setup isn’t altogether unattractive. Even without it being obsolete in the near future though, I don’t see much in the way of actual potential clients though. In order to use it you not only need to have devoted $300-$1200 in an Oculus Go or Gear VR phone, but it requires a legit gaming PC to run Steam VR in any case, another $1000.

            Doesn’t much matter how inexpensive your device is in this paradigm, when a $1400-$2300 investment is standing in the way of just choosing a Quest instead – and that’s today. Things only get worse tomorrow. I do hope they’re expanding R & D significantly beyond this scope to justify $15 million in investments. There’s no way they even close to recoup that on this product, or anything I can conceive that uses the same technology as part of its core, not when a Gear VR with the same feature-set as Quest is probably only 1-2 years away, and the Go line is about the same distance from being discontinued.

  • Moe Curley

    Someone should come up with an inside out tracking system that uses portable, battery operated “beacon” type lighthouse rather than tracking the environment, it would be the best of both worlds.

  • Jarilo

    The more innovation the better.

  • oompah

    reinventing the wheel
    if its same as 6dof controllers of msvr