By Kathleen Donnelly (From Around SoCO Magazine Feb. 2014)
There is no limit to the ideas and dreams originating from the creative brains at AroundUS Corporation, and now the comprehensive marketing, advertising, tech and publishing company, has spun off an inspirational new sister company. Dreamality, Inc., is what its CEO, Jay Martinez, calls “a true technology company,” a company that Martinez says entertains, educates, informs and ‘Wows’! And Dreamality has a new product that is all of that and more.
For the past eight months Jay has been working with new business partner and Chief Technology Officer Bruce Girdlestone, to create an entire system that delivers a custom storytelling experience for the viewer. It combines elements of video, 3D, motion and gaming technologies.
“We build and project 3-D worlds,” Jay explains. “It gives you an ultra-wide field of view. We also use virtual reality seats that we’ve named ‘Dream Actuators’ that use movement and other sensory elements such as smell and touch to create any experience. You can ride in a coal car going down into a mine with flickering lights, and creaking timbers, or gallop on horseback as a pony express rider, or experience a journey along the Santa Fe Trail in a covered wagon. You can soar on the back of an eagle and ride the rapids down a rushing mountain stream, or you can conduct an orchestra, or even travel into outer space,” he said. “This is what we call ‘Dreamsynthesis’.” Our slogan is: ‘Making Dreams Reality’.
Jay and his wife and business partner E.R.A. McCarthey met Girdlestone in the offices of Trinidad and Las Animas County Economic Development, Inc. Bruce is a computer engineer who moved to Trinidad in 2008 with his wife, Marsha, in order to raise their daughter in a small town. They chose Trinidad for its beauty, quality of life, safety, and friendly people. These were the same reasons that attracted Jay and E.R.A. with their young family.
Bruce is a computer engineer who grew up in South Africa, worked in London and Atlanta, where he met Marsha, who is from Denver. He is able to work from home from anywhere in the world. While his job is related to payment systems, he had always wanted to create computer programs that involve graphics, he said.
Before Jay met E.R.A., he owned a technology marketing company that created websites, interactive CDs, 4D video and built motion theaters for clients. The technology at that time, similar to what is offered in major theme parks, was very expensive. He has had the idea for Dreamsynthesis for a long time. He wanted to develop the systems on a smaller scale, making them customizable, affordable and available to many. He could build the Dream Actuators and create the 3-D artwork that would allow the person sitting in the Actuator to be totally immersed, totally surrounded in the experience, but he needed a partner who could develop the computer software that would control the procession of each customizable virtual reality experience. When Jay and Bruce got to talking, their excitement was palpable.
“I’m best at making machines talk to software,” Bruce said, “And it has been exciting to see this growing.” Bruce is an entrepreneur,” Jay
The software created is “light years away” from what Jay used to do, he says. There are more innovations now, and so many stories to be told. “A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is so much more,” he says. “The look of each one, and the experiences can be endless. There is no limit. It is so exciting to be utilizing technology to bring stories alive. This is not happening anywhere else,” he said. “It is the Wow factor! It is cool-looking and exciting for everyone. For all age groups,” Jay said.
With her background in education, E.R.A. is particularly enthusiastic about the applications for schools. “It’s about being able to entertain and at the same time, deliver a message in a fun way, an exciting way. This kind of technology can be an amazing way to change education. Our children have been born into a technological world, and virtual reality can be used to engage them in history, science, languages, the possibilities are endless,” she said.
Jay and E.R.A. have been demonstrating the Dream Actuator prototype, and everyone has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and thrilled. “It is exciting when you know you have something people love,” Jay said. “People realize that there are so many ways in which they could be used: museums, attractions, stores, restaurants, businesses, arcades, and they are very affordable for anyone,” he added.
While they are pursuing various business ideas and options, they are considering the possible acquisition of a building downtown that could function as a showroom for the systems, as well as housing AroundUS Corporation, Dreamality, Inc., AroundSoCO, and the next imaginative and inventive ideas that will certainly be coming soon from this creative team. “We love that creative spark, when ideas are tossed around,” E.R.A. said.
They would also like to manufacture the Dreamality Actuators locally, to create good paying jobs. “It is our goal and our hope to stay here in Trinidad. We want to use the local available talent. We can build them here cheaper than having them built and shipped from China. This is a true American-made technology,” Jay said. “We would love to hire twenty people to start manufacturing them here,” he said.
“The whole idea of this company, (AroundUS Corporation) is to implement technology to help people,” he said.
Jay and E.R.A. would also like to encourage other software and tech companies to move to Trinidad and other cities in southern Colorado. They need to know about our great quality of life, and you can do this kind of work from anywhere, you don’t need to be commuting through rush hour traffic in a big city. “The environment is great here, the people are great,” Jay said. “Our goal is to put Southern Colorado on the map.”
For more information about Dreamality please contact Jay Martinez at 719-433-9364.