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April 8, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:54pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Forget the goggles and headsets, Superscape Virtual Reality Plc has spent a fortune repositioning itself in order to cash in on all things Internet-based. Following a placing of new shares raising 1.8m pounds in January this year, the Hook, UK virtual reality software developer has made further losses as it attempts to get some return from its investments in technology. The company has made a net loss of 3.1m pounds for the six months to January 31 compared to losses of 897,000 pounds this time last year. More encouragingly revenue was up 19.6% to 1.9m pounds. But even with established licensing deals with the mighty Microsoft Corp (CI No 3,048), Superscape’s share price could not defy gravity forever. Profits are not likely to appear for at least 18 months and the market drove the share price down 42.5 pence to 347.5 pence yesterday. The disappointing revenue figures are blamed on industrywide delays in purchasing lead times. Superscape is now facing squarely up to the problem of how to generate some cash from its software developments and it has gambled firmly on the Virtual World Wide Web. To date, this consists of some 200 independent three-dimensional pages. The established products are VRT 5.0, a three-dimensional authoring tool for creating virtual reality Web sites and Viscape, currently claimed to be the fastest three-dimensional Web browser available. Superscape sees the narrow bandwidth requirements of Virtual Reality as a distinct advantage over bandwidth hungry multimedia alternatives. New projects resulting from the change in emphasis include a deal with CompuServe Corp to provide interactive shopping and a newly announced partnership with Black Sun Interactive Inc, the specialists in Virtual World Wide Web interaction and chat software. A further spin-off started by Rank Xerox Ltd is the development of virtual reality sales demonstrations. Xerox has shown how interactive three-dimensional systems can be used to sell its colour laser printers more effectively than conventional sales techniques. But profits are what Superscape really needs and the market is clearly showing signs of lack of patience.

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