The moment Bill Myers put on his first virtual reality headset, he knew his life would never be the same. With a background in video production, he saw this new medium as an opportunity tell stories in a way he had never done before—and was immediately hooked.
Wanting to share this newfound passion with others, Bill started an Akron-based VR meetup in July 2015. Open to anyone with a curiosity for the technology, the meetup would typically start with a presentation on the state of the VR industry, followed by a roundtable discussion on current projects, and end with a series of live demos.
What started as a small niche of VR enthusiasts rapidly grew into the fastest tech meetup in Northeast Ohio, boasting a community of over 900 members.
“It was after that community started that I really saw myself as a community leader,” says Bill in retrospect.
This newfound leadership, on top of the continually growing demand for more frequent meetups, ultimately led Bill to take on what has become his most successful business venture yet.
Two years later, Bill is proud to run his own augmented reality design studio, New Territory. The Akron-based business plays two joint roles; it serves as a software company during the day and, at night, transforms into an arcade where people can go to engage with VR technology.
While immersive technology is still widely associated with gaming, Bill’s hope for his business is that it spurs its customers to start thinking of VR and AR as more of a storytelling and teaching tool. Upon founding the company, Bill and his wife/co-founder made the executive decision not to put people in a headset and expose them to violence. Instead, New Territory encourages its customers to use immersive technology in a positive way for learning and creative purposes.
“I think the power to transport people places they could never go otherwise is the magic of this particular medium and really what gets me up every day,” says Bill. “It helps me stay focused on the end goal, and that is to let people try new things and use our technology in order to change their worlds.”
Experience the future of digital storytelling for yourself by shopping New Territory on eBay.
New Territory is a participant in Retail Revival, a partnership between eBay and the cities of Akron and Warren, Ohio, to support small business owners who want to introduce their products to the global marketplace.