Los Angeles-based VR software development company TRIPP has announced a $4 million Series A round investment lead by venture capital firm Mayfield. TRIPP describe themselves as “mood architects”, aiming to create VR software that improves mindfulness.

Many types of VR experiences already function as powerful forms of escapism, but TRIPP believes their approach to creating ‘mindfulness’ VR software can deliver a more-focused brain stimulation that could improve a person’s well being and mental health. According to their website, the team will apply their decades of game development experience combined with “emerging mindfulness research” in VR experiences that affect the user “in deeply positive, and highly targeted ways that take you well beyond ‘fun’.”

In the press release provided to Road to VR, CEO and co-founder Nanea Reeves describes how TRIPP’s approach avoids typical guided meditation techniques, instead going for a deeply immersive experience that happens all around the user.

“We are combining multiple elements to create a completely immersive, supercharged experience that is crafted to put users in a different headspace,” writes Reeves. “Using visuals, sounds and targeted interactivity to first create a state of calm, we then take you on a journey that can stimulate a number of different feelings and moods – enabling users to take a step back from their busy lives and enjoy a sensory experience unlike any other.”

image courtesy TRIPP

Reeves believes there are limited examples of their ‘stimulation over simulation’ philosophy in the VR marketplace today. “Despite the amount of time spent innovating in VR, the applications built for it have mostly attempted to recreate this reality or more immersive 360 versions of content originally created for another medium,” she says. “Taking a TRIPP will not be like anything that exists in the real world.”

Speaking to Dave Westin on the Mobile Growth Podcast in May, Reeves teased how their software aims to be exceedingly pleasurable – “the most fun ten minutes of your life that you’ve ever experienced, that’s our goal from a product standpoint” – and also explained how TRIPP first formed as a result of bringing her cousin and world-famous actor Keanu Reeves to Oculus headquarters for an early Crescent Bay demo.

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No specific platforms or dates have been announced, but TRIPP is targeting VR hardware first, with an eye on bringing their software to ‘mixed reality’ in the future, saying they want TRIPP to feature “on every meaningful device that has deep immersion capabilities.”

Mayfield Fund partner Tim Chang joins as a TRIPP board member. Along with his experience in technology investment and engineering, Chang describes himself as a “body- and consciousness-hacking enthusiast” on his Mayfield bio.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Happy for their investment, but what they propose is a bit vague

    • dogtato

      I’m guessing their product is just LSD and regular VR.

  • Sounds interesting! Wishing them well.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Actually I think “mood altering” in the sense of relaxation and meditation is a very good and useful application of VR specifically. I believe a few apps exist even on the mobile side with Gear, etc. to do this already but no one seems to be too focused on it as serious application – maybe these guys will do it if they aren’t too busy posing for hipster shots like the one above ;)

  • Sounds vague… like REALLY VAGUE. It they are just trying to flash lights and sound to get a hypnagogic state, there’s already $20 LED glasses and headphones that do that. Any plans to influence the mind more directly better come with ALOT of research data or I’m calling Snake Oil. This has all of the hallmarks of a scam. Or at least, a wild stab in the dark with somebody else’s money. Good intentions or not, I think that $4 Million is going up in smoke. (and not the fun, and very mood altering, kind)