We are Normal. Sort of.
Normal was founded with one mission: to connect and empower people through technology. It’s an ambitious goal, but one that we’ve championed since day one as we look to provide the most innovative virtual reality platform to anyone, anywhere on the globe. Together, we’re giving the next generation of creatives the tools they need to push the boundaries of the medium.
Founded by award-winning artist and entrepreneur Max Weisel, Normal is a community of creative misfits, artists, engineers, and storytellers working at the intersection of design and technology. We’re working with the world’s leading virtual reality platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR.
We are Normal. Really.
Hey there, it’s been a while. My name is Max. I’m glad we could take some time to talk through this website. I see you found our new bullshit filter. It’s one of our new research projects at Normal.
What is Normal?
(I assume that’s why you’re here)
Good question. Normal is anything but normal (I know, I know, but the filter is on. I promise.) Normal is a company I started to work on virtual reality. The plan is, well, no plan.
Most people start with an idea. They place a flag in the distance and work towards it. On the way, they learn more, usually including much cooler places they could’ve put that flag. It may sound obvious, but my first idea is never my best. I’m sure that’s true for you, as well.1
Personally, I’ve never been one to get tied to a first idea. I want to get to know each one. Go on a few dates before making it Facebook official, you know? At Normal, we try 1000 ideas before settling on one. If that one idea is brilliant, no one has to know about the other 999. Those are our little secret. Then everyone will think that all of our ideas are as good as the one we actually released. Boom.
That’s the plan, at least. Okay, well the not-plan plan. It sounds like a good one. Right? Please, someone tell me that this is a good idea, that’s all I’m looking for here... Anyways, this means that I can’t tell you what Normal will be building in six months, but I can tell you it will be brilliant.
Do we care about the same things?
That’s a great question. In fact, I start all relationships with this question, so I’m glad you brought it up. There’s a possibility we don’t have the same values when it comes to virtual reality. First, I’m not trying to make games. I love games, but there are plenty of people making great games for VR. I want to make apps that appeal to basic human emotions.
Virtual Reality is compelling to me because it capitalizes on our sensory and motor skills. We’ve spent our whole lives developing these skills and (up until now) our digital devices haven’t taken advantage of that. With hand controllers, we can complete that feedback loop. VR without hand controllers is like living in the real world with your hands tied behind your back. Most of us have hands and are pretty good at using them, so I think it’s fair to say VR without hands is going to be a waste. (I know not everyone will agree with this and that’s fine. You do you.) I want to build for a world where room-scale VR with hand controllers is the norm, because I believe that one day it will be.
Lastly, I think rocks are people, no wait, people rock, that’s it. It’s awesome to share a virtual space with someone that you know. It feels much better than I imagined. It will take me a month to tell you why, but you’ll understand within 30 seconds of trying a proper demo. VR will never be a good substitute for real life, but it’s a great way to communicate with people when that isn’t an option, like working remotely or reviewing digital work. I think you’ll agree, too.
So, who is Normal?
Right now, we’re a small, focused group of people working to explore virtual reality. We’re not entirely sure what we’re doing (spoiler alert: no one else does either), but we have a few good ideas. The community is small, so most of us are remote. In fact, we use some of our own stuff to make that happen. You could say we’re dogfooding our own product, but, let’s be honest, eating dogfood sounds terrible. This is much better than that.
It was great catching up.
Hey, if you’re still reading this, we might have some stuff in common. Or maybe you just skipped to the end. I’ll never know. Are you working on something cool? Share it with us. We love seeing cool stuff. Want to try out our stuff? Get in touch! We like sharing our stuff, too. I’ll post some of our thinking on the blog as it develops.