Written by Stephanie MacFarlane
Nervus.Co is a startup that specializes in producing virtual reality content and interactive 360-degree videos. Saint-Alexandre, founded in 2020, wants to go beyond entertainment by pushing the boundaries of virtual reality, a technology that can be used notably in health and training but also in marketing. A path recently taken by Tremcar.
Nervus.Co was founded by Louis-Philippe Denault and Jeremy Dufour, two old friends. The first comes from the world of cinema. He was an actor and graduated in screenwriting from the National Institute of Image and Sound (INIS). The second is a pharmacist and owner of the Proxim pharmacy located in Saint-Jacques in Vieux-Saint-Jean.
Virtual reality and 360-degree videos are still in their infancy. Nervus.Co combines the two. “I was drawn to 360 degrees. It’s new and it’s far west. People didn’t know what to do with it, either from the creators or the clients,” says Louis-Philippe Denault.
In his eyes, image quality is relevant, and interaction is just as important. “If the content is negative, people go for 45 seconds and then the effect wears off. To make the content ineffective, cinema has priority,” he asserts. For him, VR content becomes good when you add interactivity to it.
Virtual reality is experienced using a headset or other device with a screen. An interactive component is enabled when the user has a joystick or other tool that allows them to select one of the options that appear on the screen during an experiment.
Besides entertainment, virtual reality can have many characteristics, particularly in the field of health and mental health. Louis-Philippe Denault would like to work on a project that would help treat PTSD.
“By using virtual reality, we can bring a painful situation back to life during a psychoanalysis session,” he explains. Virtual reality can also be used in medicine, especially in rehabilitation, and to treat pain and anxiety.
Nervus.Co would like to make a virtual chaise longue that people can sit on and take some time to get away from almost everyday life. When a person wears a virtual reality helmet, he is no longer aware of his environment, and what is happening around him, sums up Mr. Deniault.
The digital tool can also be used in many interactive courses. Louis-Philippe Daigneault continues, “An employer is able to make his employees face an unpleasant customer experience and see how they react.” Through the scenario, the employee must select different options in order to defuse or escalate the situation, depending on the choice made.
Other examples? Do occupational health and safety training or even police training with an active shooter…in virtual reality. “We are able to put anyone in a dangerous situation completely safely and see how they react,” says Mr. Denyault.
It is even possible, in some cases, to follow eye movement and analyze different emotions and mental states thanks to technology from the young Montreal company Re-Ak Technologies.
Virtual reality also has its uses in marketing. Nervus.Co recently worked with Tremcar. The manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum trailers and tanks has used this technology to stand out.
Using a virtual reality headset, the manufacturer’s customers and future customers can visit its plants in Saint-Jeansur-Richelieu and Saint-Césaire to see the entire tank production process. Using the joystick, the virtual visitor selects the section or sections he would like to discover. In total, the document is 22 minutes long, but it has been broken down to improve the experience.
The digital tool can be used in particular during events in which Tremcar participates, such as trade fairs. The company can also use it in the recruitment process: the candidates will have the opportunity to visit the workplace.
Nervus.Co consists of two founders. However, they would like to expand the team in the future. The company also wants to have a studio where they can build a place that is useful for their experiences.
Nervus.Co was the winner of the 2021 OSEntreprendre Challenge in Haut-Richelieu.