Data analysis and visualization startup Virtualitics LLC just announced the launch of a new tool that will allow researchers to better understand data using virtual reality and augmented reality.
The new tool, unveiled Thursday, combines the use of VR and AR with machine learning and Big Data analysis to allow data scientists to immerse themselves in the data to better discover hidden insights hidden in complex data sets.
The company also announced that it just closed a $3 million seed funding round from angel investors.
“Big Data is worthless if we cannot extract actionable knowledge from it,” said Michael Amori, chief executive officer of Virtualitics. “Visualization can reveal the knowledge hidden in data, but traditional 2D and 3D data visualizations are inadequate for large and complex data sets.”
To solve this problem, Virtualitics takes advantage of the immersive capability of VR to place a researcher directly into the data. The software also provides a collaborative environment that is suitable for trained data scientists and non-experts alike to work together.
The software builds on over a decade of research at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and draws on a pool of brilliant scientific minds and alumni of those organizations.
Among the company’s founders is professor George Djorgovski, the founding director of Caltech’s Center for Data-Driven Discovery and a renowned astrophysicist and proponent of VR as a scientific platform.
“VR is intrinsically well-suited for human perception, intuition and pattern recognition, leading to insights that may be difficult or even impossible to gain through any traditional visualization technique,” said Djorgovski. “It is a natural environment for collaborative visual data exploration and data analytics that enables teams of users, who may be continents apart, to interact with the data and with each other in a shared virtual space.”
The use of VR provides a communication platform that mobile phones and computer screens cannot quite deliver: the ability to work with people who are miles away as if they’re “in the same room.” Some human insights come from being able to walk across the room and stand in the same office with a co-worker.
Something as simple as the inclination of another person’s gaze when examining data can aid in shared discovery and insight.
“Virtualitics has been able to create the virtual office of the future,” said Andy Walter, a strategic adviser to Virtualitics, “which will allow even the largest, most complex global companies to easily find and share patterns that could significantly improve the way they do business.”
The newly launched software is currently in a closed beta.