Design and Technologies to Build What’s Next
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Part of YDX Innovation is its Arkave division, one of the most advanced and immersive virtual reality (VR) gaming platforms in the world. The company is now expanding its network of gaming arenas with the goal of becoming the most popular multiplayer VR arena in the world. The first Arkave VR Arena was opened in December 2018 and the company is negotiating dozens of new locations worldwide, with a primary focus in North America.
YDX Innovation and The Walt Disney Company Brazil (NYSE:DIS) have signed an agreement to create exclusive content for Arkave VR. The objective is to create a new VR experience using Disney´s iconic IP, Mickey Mouse. The first game will be co-created by Disney and YDreams Global in Brazil and will bring Mickey Mouse to Arkave VR. The company launched pre-sales of the game in July 2019. The agreement entails that the Arkave VR Arena featuring the Disney VR game can be launched in different cities within Brazil, to start with. Other potential venues include: shopping malls, entertainment centers, events and movie theaters.
YDX Innovation’s branded experiences and conceptual exhibition arm, YDreams Global, has delivered over 1,300 interactive experiences for brands such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Disney, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and NBA. YDreams Global also works as a partner for companies and brands to reframe their strategy through relevant human-centered ventures that integrate digital experience with a physical presence and venues. YDreams Global anticipates future challenges and connects them with the needs of the market, building innovative concepts and delivering them with international excellence.
The company has delivered internationally acclaimed projects such as the Bank of the Future branch for Bradesco Bank (BVMF:BBDC4), the World Cup VR Experience for Coca-Cola and the Virtual Aquarium, a product installed in shopping malls where kids can create their own virtual pet fish that they can visit every time they go to the mall.
With a recent rebrand, YDX Innovation has launched a third business unit: Game On Festival. This is a new event, conceptualized and designed by YDX Innovation to appeal to the growing demand for esports and other gaming events. The main attraction will be an interactive exhibition about the history of videogames, offering various immersive experiences.
“With the immense interest in professional gaming and esports, we see an opportunity to create something relevant for this large demographic group, those who play regularly and always wondered how they would do in a professional competition,” stated YDX Innovation CEO Daniel Japiassu.
- Completed over 1,300 projects and over 5,000 interactive experiences in over 30 countries.
- Released franchisable VR gaming platform with first store in large shopping mall in Sao Paulo and signed first deal in the US.
- Clients include Fortune 500s such as Coca Cola, Qualcomm, Disney, NBA, Nike, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), MacDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Cisco.
- Generated over C$24 million in revenue over the past seven years.
- Three patents in AR Elements, Virtual Sightseeing and Interactive Shelves technology.
- Joined Dreams2B and BC Tech’s THE CUBE to create acceleration program for start-ups.
- Launched a third business unit, Game On Festival, which will host an immersive exhibition on the history of videogames.
- Signed a licensing agreement with Walt Disney Co Brazil to create a game using their iconic Mickey Mouse character for Arkave VR arenas. Pre-sales for the game commenced in July 2019.
Arkave VR Arena
The Arkave VR platform is a combination of online and physical gaming, where users access VR gaming experiences within Arkave storefronts in malls, for instance.
“We’ve created a platform that allows three people to play together, so it’s very social, letting you play with your friends,” said YDX Innovation CEO Daniel Japiassu. “You can see your friends as avatars and communicate with them during the game, playing and interacting together. The other main attraction is that you are free to walk around in a room and play several different games in that space.”
Currently offering nine games that take 10 to 20 minutes to play, the franchisable platform has been deployed in one of South America’s largest shopping centers, in a 300-square-meter storefront. The company has also launched three arenas in the Vitoria shopping mall in Vitoria, Brazil. The mall receives approximately 1.2 million visitors per month according to the mall’s website. The company intends to deploy arenas in additional locations. In November 2018, Arkave VR received the Hyper Award 2018 in Brazil, providing further validation of the platform’s leading role in the market.
YDX Innovation has signed a collaboration agreement with Liquid Media Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:YVR), a global studio that produces content for several media platforms including film, TV, gaming and VR. The agreement will bring classic and future titles to the Arkave VR arenas in Canada, the US and Brazil as well as Game On Festival Experiences. Liquid Media’s, subsidiary, Majesco Entertainment, is a leader in the development of video games and has developed platforms for Nintendo, Wii, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, among others.
In November 2018, YDX Innovation also made headway in the US with the announcement of an agreement with Studio 41B, an immersive creative design studio, to distribute a turnkey free-roam, room scale multi-user interactive virtual reality experience. As such, Studio 41B will act as a preferred integrator and reseller of the Arkave VR Arena platform in the US.
The company has also secured the location for the first and second Arkave VR installations in the US. The first will be housed at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games in Marietta, Georgia. The facility measures 100,000 square feet and hosts high-speed super karts and a state-of-the-art arcade, among other features.
The second was installed at the Launch Trampoline Park in Doral, Florida. The region is home to many golf resorts and shopping malls and is only one mile from the Miami International Airport. The third location was setup in February 2019 at a second Launch Trampoline Park in Methuen, outside Boston, in Massachusetts.
YDX Innovation and Studio 41B have also brought the first arena to Colorado. The arena was installed at Celebrity Lanes, a state-of-the-art bowling facility that also features other attractions such as a full-service restaurant and bar, a large arcade, fully-immersive and interactive laser tag, outdoor patio seating and live music. The two companies also opened another arena in Orlando at the District Eat and Play, a state-of-the-art family entertainment center that offers a full-service restaurant and bar, a large arcade area, a boutique bowling lounge and escape rooms.
YDX Innovation has teamed up with Synthesis VR to add new games to Arkave VR and use Synthesis VR’s management software as a back office for Arkave. The company has also installed an arena at Synthesis VR’s gaming facility in Los Angeles, California.
In addition to its arenas in the US, YDX Innovation has also secured locations in Canada. To date, the company has established arenas in Toronto, Vancouver and Prince George.
On February 21, the company announced it had signed a non-exclusive collaboration agreement with Dallas, Texas based Jackpot Rising to create esports tournaments featuring Arkave VR, in the US. With offices in the US and the UK, Jackpot Rising’s patented framework enables players to compete against each other in tournaments for cash, prizes, digital goods and other rewards.
Games on the platform include Jackpot Shot and Jackpot Alley as well as third-party games, including Fortnite, a game created by Epic Games. According to Statista, in November 2018, Fortnite had 200 million players worldwide.
The goal of the partnership is to co-host tournaments, starting in Dallas. According to publications from ESPN and DMagazine, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is a ‘gamer’s paradise’ and is fast becoming an esports magnet, attracting big-name investors, new stadiums and some of video gaming’s hottest teams making it a strategic location for YDX Innovations to bring Game On Festival and setup Arkave VR arenas.
“We designed Arkave VR to become an esports attraction for our clients. The platform is equipped with a ranking system and ready for tournaments. The partnership with Jackpot Rising enables us to move faster into this segment,” said Japiassu.
YDX Innovation has also partnered with oasisVRX, a New Jersey-based premier VR center, to bring Arkave VR to the tri-state region of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The goal of the partnership is to create esports tournaments and events in the tri-state area. An Arkave VR arena is also expected to be permanently installed in a new state-of-the-art VR center in New Jersey.
In July 2019, YDX Innovation installed seven Arkave VR arenas at the 2019 Game XP event, which is taking place July 25 to July 28, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a previous event, Arkave VR was voted as one of the best attractions of the event. Looking to continue its success, the company will be launching its first esports competition for Arkave VR called “The Last Squad”.
Game On Festival
BRINGING KIDS AND FAMILIES INTO THE GAME
Game On is a festival that blends entertainment, esports and education to engage fans of all ages. It provides interactive exhibitions, immersive experiences and gaming tournaments to strengthen the bonds between kids and their families.
There is an opportunity to create an engaging event that will educate new players and their parents. It will also provide a safe and fun environment for their first experience in esports and the world of videogames.
Main activities during the event:
- Interactive exhibitions
- Local esports amateur competitions
- Esports professional tournaments
- Arkave VR gaming arenas
- PC gaming stations
- Individual and collective interactive gamified experiences
- Esports coaching overview
- Esports training
- Meet and greet with gaming digital influencers
- Top selected speakers from gaming industry
- Radio and media partners streaming podcasts
Augmented Reality: Enhancing Retail Experiences
According to a May 2016 report by Grand View Research, “augmented reality technology is in the nascent stage with a huge growth potential, and has attracted large investments contributing to the industry growth.” The same report noted gesture-based technologies and augmented reality (AR) trial rooms are of particular interest. De Beers, for example, already uses AR technology to let customers virtually try on jewelry.
In September 2018, YDreams announced that it had developed an AR mobile app for Hyundai Motor Brazil to showcase two commemorative editions of the Crete and HB20 models. The app explains what the main features of the special edition line of cars have to offer in an easy and interactive way.
New Projects delivered in 2019
An interactive playground, “Garden of Unicorns,” was produced for Patio Higienopolis, a large shopping mall located in São Paulo, Brazil. The playground, which features activities for children from ages four to 10, has five different areas with magical narratives, immersive scenarios and interactive technologies.
In early 2019, YDreams Global also launched a virtual reality experience titled “Tomorrow´s Shopping,” which was developed for Brazilian shopping mall operator Sonae Sierra. The immersive storytelling simulates in VR what a shopping mall experience of the future will be like. Some of the features are: the use of drones to deliver gifts, AR alerts of friends visiting the mall at the same time as you and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to follow your schedule and optimize your time at the mall. The experience was launched in two shopping malls and will tour other malls that are part of the Sonae Sierra group.
Interactive Attractions for the NBA
In September 2017, YDreams Global was commissioned by Octagon, one of the largest global marketing agencies, to develop interactive solutions for the NBA. One such innovation is the NBA House, a gaming house that allows fans of all ages to game in the same space. YDreams Global created one of the main activities, an AR basketball experience that is designed to take fans “inside” the game. The NBA House is currently stationed in San Paulo, Brazil. However, this is only the beginning of YDream Global’s relationship with Octagon, and could lead to future opportunities in other sporting realms.
Olympic City Museum, Rio de Janeiro
In August 2016, the company executed multiple projects for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The most significant of these were the Olympic City Museum, the official memorial museum for the games and a significant source of revenue for YDreams Global.
“The increase in turnout has confirmed that the interactive immersive environment that YDreams has created for the Museum has been a success in increasing traffic,” Japiassu stated. “This shows that the interactive and virtual reality experiences that YDreams creates tend to generate a significant increase in attendance and potential revenues for our clients.”
AquaRio Virtual Aquarium, Rio de Janeiro
To date, YDreams Global has developed similar attractions to its Olympics projects all over the world. These include exhibits for South America’s largest aquarium, AquaRio, which opened in late 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, with 350 species in 28 separate tanks. The virtual exhibit brought together a video wall, AR, radio frequency identification (RFID) cards and interactive kiosks within an educational setting. Importantly, the display enables children to create and care for their own virtual pet fish, with a unique species, color and size. These pets can be named and saved using a purchasable RFID card, and afterwards become the child’s host throughout the museum, appearing at smaller YFish terminals at various exhibits.
Marcos Alves, Director of YDreams Global Products Division, described how owners of the virtual pets are enticed to feed their pets, monitor their development and unlock new features. This encourages frequent returns, Alves said, generating new revenue for AquaRio.
Qualcomm Exhibit at Futurecom, Sao Paulo
In November 2016, YDreams Global teamed up with mobile technology creator Qualcomm Inc. at Futurecom, the largest Latin American telecommunications fair, hosted that year in Sao Paulo. YDreams created Qualcomm’s stand, featuring interactive touch screen displays and exhibits that communicated with one another. The display increased Qualcomm’s visibility at the event and promoted the company’s patented 5G technology, Japiassu explained, helping Qualcomm establish its brand as part of the future of the Internet of Things.
Natura Amazon VR Rainforest Tour, New York City
In December of 2016, YDreams Global completed its first project in the US, another major project on behalf of popular Latin American cosmetics brand Natura. The virtual reality tour, “Natura Brings the Amazon Forest to You,” was completed in conjunction with the grand opening of Natura’s first North American flagship store near New York City. The experience featured a simulated walk through the heart of the Amazonian Rainforest. Viewers encounter materials used in Natura’s Ekos line of body care products during their virtual stroll.
Daniel Japiassu–CEO and Director
Daniel Japiassu is the CEO of YDreams Global. With over 20 years of experience managing technology companies, he has led YDreams to become a publicly listed company in Canada. Since his start as one of the partners, in 2006, the company has achieved substantial revenues, expansion from Brazil to Canada and the USA and has delivered thousands of projects for several Fortune 500 companies, such as Coca-Cola, Cisco, Qualcomm, Intel, Nike and the city of Rio. Mr. Japiassu is passionate about human-centered technologies, Virtual and Augmented Realities and how the physical world is becoming smarter through digital tech.
Karina Israel–COO and Director
Karina Israel has had an international career over the past 20 years. After two years of experience in the Energy Research Center (CEPEL) in Rio de Janeiro, she led the Media Lab production area between 1996 and 1999. During this period she graduated in Social Communication at UFRJ and became one of the pioneers of internet business development in Brazil. She still worked for Ogilvy Interactive and Tesla in São Paulo before setting off to Europe for a Master´s degree in Technology Science and Society at the Salamanca University, in addition to post graduate studies in Business Administration from the New Lisbon University. In 2004 she joined YDreams in Portugal as a precursor to producing real-time location-based games for mobile devices. Israel spearheaded YDreams’ move into the professional advertising sector. She also led the opening of YDreams Brasil in partnership with Daniel Japiassu and achieved a master´s degree at USP for Media, Society and Information. Under their leadership the Brazilian operation soon became independent and has had a leading role in many international projects. She currently leads projects for clients in Brazil such as Bradesco (major Brazilian bank), Audi, Bohemia (popular local beer brand) among others.
Eli Dusenbury – CFO
Eli Dusenbury currently works as a CFO and accounting consultant in Vancouver for both US and Canadian companies as well as assurance services with a public practice firm. Most recently Eli worked as an audit manager at Anton & Chai, LLP a US public practice firm specializing in SEC filers. He was born in Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada and was a chef for nine years while attending University of Capilano, where he graduated with honors in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Prior to Anton & Chai, LLP, he was a senior accountant at Smythe Ratcliffe LLP. He began articling at Smythe Ratcliffe LLP in 2009 and successfully passed the Uniform Final Evaluation (UFE) in 2011 obtaining his CA designation shortly thereafter.
Dusenbury has 8 years of public accounting experience providing assurance services to both public and private sector clients reporting in Canada and the US over a broad range of industries including but not limited to: technology, research & development, agriculture, engineering, mining & exploration, manufacturing and processing and financing. He is active in student mentoring and development.
With working experiences in both Canada and the US over a wide range of public and private companies he has gained in-depth understanding of business operations, control environments and strategic business decision-making, which provide a unique balance between both operational and accounting perspectives to resolve complex technical accounting, reporting and auditing issues.
Daniel Prado–Technology Director
Daniel Prado is one of the first Brazilian YDreamers. He has a long career leading multimedia projects and internet business for clients such as Xerox, Embratur, Petrobras and the Ministry of Education. He started his career working with network infrastructure and website development before he joined Media Lab where he worked with Karina Israel and Daniel Japiassu. He also took part in Agente Web with Japiassu and other partners. After being a consultant in major projects he worked for the Nacional Health Agency being responsible for internet projects between 2003 and 2007. Always working closely with the creative department, his main role is to elaborate innovative and viable solutions in new projects and manage the IT and development teams. Since 1998 he has been a professor at ESPM (Marketing college) in Rio de Janeiro, lecturing on web marketing and digital creativity.
Ana Monte–Creative Director
Ana Monte, a graduate from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, began her career in 1996 at the RNP (National Research Network), the pioneer institution responsible for establishing the commercial Internet in Brazil. This experience became the root of her digital design expertise, consistently focused on user experience. In 1998 she moved to Media Lab to work as an art director. There she was responsible for the accounts of some of the biggest Brazilian companies, such as Petrobras, Pepsi and Natura. In 2001 she moved to the House Agency for Globo.com’s internet portal as Art Director for the online campaigns. She had her own design office for five years, where she developed multidisciplinary skills while working on a variety of jobs and clients, ranging from digital to graphic design, brand experience, product design and so on. As head of the YDreams creative department, Monte coaches and directs a multidisciplinary team of designers, always working closely with the technology department.
Marcos Alves–Ventures Director
Marcos Alves started his career as a programmer at Media Lab. He soon joined Globo TV where he had a key role in the strategic planning, development and management of some of the main websites of the network such as Globo na Copa, Globo Esportes and Globo News. In the Globo.com portal he managed research, development and adoption of new technologies between 1999 and 2002. After this period he became professional services manager at e-Dablio, senior manager at the DBA consulting firm, business director at Dextra and head of sales at Thoughtworks Brazil. Alves’ role at YDreams is to lead the sales and new business team.
Cesare Fazari –Director
Mr. Fazari is a founding partner of Northwood Developments and has been active in the company for over 30 years. Mr. Fazari specializes in commercial retail rollout, having completed thousands of turnkey projects for major commercial franchises such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Marshalls, Trade Secrets and Public Mobile to name a few.
James Nelson has over 12 years of public markets experience focused in finance, investor relations and corporate development serving as a director and a consultant to several public and private companies and has worked in a variety of industries including: energy, mining, oil & gas, and technology.
Spencer Smyl graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Political Science and Economics. Since then he has been actively involved in both the private and public sectors, working for the Senate of Canada, business development in the health and wellness industry, and in venture capital. His business networks in government, health and wellness, and venture capital provide a strategic reach in the resource, technology, and professional sport marketplaces. He currently sits on the board of several publicly listed Canadian companies on the TSXV, where he focuses on improving upon their mechanics that make for successful growth.
Miguel Remédio has a background education in Environmental Engineering and a Master in Mathematical Modelling from the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology. In 2000 he cofounded YGroup in Portugal and was responsible for finances and the international expansion of the company, creating offices in Spain and Brazil. He has extensive international experience in sales and project development of interactive solutions for brands and institutions. Besides being Director of YDreams Global, he is member of the board of Ynvisible SA and other European technology companies.
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