When Matt Chaussee picked up his first virtual reality headset, the Nintendo Virtualboy, he knew he was onto something.
“I knew the Virtualboy was revolutionary, but I also felt the overall experience was underwhelming,” says Chaussee. “It needed more color.”
Out of that experience, Chaussee’s company, Be More Colorful, was born.
Today, Be More Colorful, co-owned by Chaussee and his wife Katie Chaussee, offers an assortment of services including immersive virtual reality experiences and tours.
Initially, Chaussee saw an opportunity to create virtual tours for real-estate agents.
“My wife and I were looking at purchasing a new home, but unfortunately my wife had an injury that prevented her from entering a lot of homes we were interested at looking at,” says Chaussee. “I thought offering virtual tour services for Realtors® was an opportunity to make real estate listings more accessible to those with mobility impairments.”
Like many startups, Chaussee’s initial idea started evolving away from real estate, causing him to pivot his business model.
“I love North Dakota and the experiences it has to offer and saw an opportunity to capture some of our outdoor experiences and turn them into 360 tours to lure visitors to our state.”
Shortly after, Chaussee attended the North Dakota Tourism Convention tradeshow where he connected with state officials who were excited to utilize Be More Colorful’s services to market, not only North Dakota’s tourism experiences, but also the state’s workforce opportunities.
“Former Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer was really excited about using our services to help market North Dakota’s employment opportunities,” he notes.
Today, Be More Colorful creates interactive tours and immersive career exploration experiences through a product called CareerViewXR to showcase career opportunities across North Dakota.
Chaussee recently worked with the Fargo Police Department to create an experience that puts users inside the back of a Fargo Police Department squad car.
“It gives citizens an idea what it’s like to be a Fargo police officer while allowing users to interact with the environment,” says Chaussee.
CareerViewXR also allows users to click and interact with the tools the Fargo Police Department uses to learn more about its equipment, facilities, and operations.
Chaussee says the demand for his services were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and he expects his business to continue to thrive as the pandemic subsides.
“Regardless of a pandemic, how do you put a student or classroom on an oil rig? You can’t. You can’t bring a high school to a dental office, but we can demonstrate what it’s like to work in one by creating a scalable experience that can be deployed to a classroom, computer, or mobile device.”
Chaussee says his clients also utilize his services on Zoom calls, as it helps clients remember their talking points when they discuss their facilities and operations.
Looking ahead, Chaussee hopes to incorporate augmented reality (AR) into CareerViewXR experiences, which incorporates graphical information into the real world through electronic displays and devices.
“It’ll take some time for AR to be fully incorporated into our experiences, but we hope to make all of these experiences part of the curriculum in schools.”
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