VR Education Holdings PLC’s (LON:VRE) shares soared on Friday after its virtual reality (VR) education and training platform, ENGAGE, was been selected by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) for inclusion in a software vendor programme for its Oculus VR device.
The Oculus independent software vendors (ISV) programme is designed to accelerate the adoption of VR technology among consumers by encouraging enterprise developers and software firms to build applications using Oculus products.
Under the agreement, VRE’s ENGAGE will be available for Oculus enterprise clients to use to build applications, the company will also be one of a few developers allowed to provide services using Facebook equipment as well as receiving support from the social media giant.
It isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together, with Facebook having selected VRE’s Apollo 11 experience, which simulates the 1969 moon landing, as a launch title for its Oculus Quest headset in May of this year.
ENGAGE is designed to allow people to collaborate on tasks or learn remotely through VR classrooms and other virtual spaces. The company is aiming to use the platform to make distance learning and remote working easier and more productive.
“Business and enterprise will only adopt new technology when they see compelling advantages to doing so and ENGAGE is being developed to meet these business needs providing virtual meeting rooms and training scenarios which save customers time and money”, said VRE’s chief executive David Whelan.
He added that with big names such as Facebook, phone maker HTC, and mobile networks O2 and Deutsche Telekom all working towards both VR and the expansion of 5G mobile internet, the company believed the adoption of the technology would accelerate “over the next 18 to 24 months”.
VRE’s house broker Shore Capital said in a note that the selection of ENGAGE for the Oculus programme would “give further grounds for optimism in mid-term outlook”.
“While it is still early days, the business is continuing to build a strong brand with its showcase VR experiences while also starting to deliver on the commercial potential of ENGAGE. In our view, VRE looks well-placed in its chosen field with a compelling software offering”, the broker added.
The news sent shares in VRE surging 25% to 7.5p in late-afternoon trading.
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