Interview with Peeter Nieler, Virtual Reality R&D Professional and CEO & Founder of Criffin

peeter nieler
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Peeter Nieler is a serial entrepreneur with a background in AI, SaaS and even film production. He is an active speaker and a published technology thought-leader. He began operations at Criffin at the dawn of VR’s second coming, before the founding of Oculus, with the foresight that locomotion and full-body interaction would be the next frontier in VR.
After having Peeter Nieler as a keynote speaker at our second Tech.O event, we caught up with the virtual reality expert to learn more about him. Here’s what he had to say:

How would you best describe yourself and what you do? What does it mean to be a pioneer in VR?

It’s a very tough question, but I’ll try to answer. I think I’m a creative person who is channeling his divergent thinking into innovation. So I started Criffin even before the second coming of VR in 2012. And I started to – for some odd reason – research locomotion in VR and not headsets. Soon after Oculus launched their Kickstarter campaign and the whole industry got a new start.

Which tools, techniques and programming languages are a must for programmers to start creating a VR application?

The most common tools are game engines Unity 3D and Unreal Engine, both are available freely. Unreal Engine is considered better by some developers while Unity is surely good for fast results and prototyping. Of course one should own a headset – for example HTC Vive that allows room scale VR – and powerful enough PC (of course choosing a platform is a longer topic). From that point on – watch tutorials, get help from developer forums and bring your idea to life!

What’s the next big step for VR?

There will be many smaller steps before bigger leaps, but I believe in few years from now VR will get social by tracking one’s facial expressions. When that happens and avatars even look like us, you’ll be able to collaborate in VR in so many more ways. We’ll see many interesting use cases become popular! But many more things can and will happen – that’s the beauty of this novel field!

This was your first time visiting Macedonia. How did you find your stay and what are your thoughts about the Macedonian IT and startup scene?

I liked the sincerity of the Macedonians I had the luck to meet, I think people are very polite and often even humble in a good way. I believe I saw a small fraction of the scene at Tech.O even; still, based on that impression you have a lot to build on.

We were lucky to have you as one of our keynote speakers at Tech.O. How did you like the overall event? Is there any advice you would give future speakers?

The event was cozy and good, audience very friendly and participating. I think it’s important to keep innovation on the rise everywhere and so I hope you’ll keep organizing such events in Skopje.

I have only one warning to speakers: once you have visited Macedonia you most probably want to return!

tech.o 2 speakers

If you missed out on Peeter Nieler’s thought-provoking presentation, here is a short video of how Tech.O 2 unfolded:

Stay tuned for our upcoming Tech.O event!

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