Norway’s Crown Prince And Princess Talk Startups And Try Out The Oculus Rift

Posted: May 11, 2013 in GT, Media, Startup
Tags: ,

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Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Princess
Mette-Marit were in Silicon Valley this week, and I
asked them about their hopes to bring more startups
and innovation to their home country. I interviewed Haakon and Mette-Marit at Norway’s
Innovation House Silicon Valley, a co-working space
in Palo Alto for Norwegian startups looking to enter
the US market. The couple saw demos from several
startups — the prince even tried on some Oculus Rift
virtual reality goggles — it was part of Making View‘s demo of its technology for capturing and exploring
360-degree video footage. (He said it was “pretty
awesome.”) Haakon actually lived in the Bay Area a decade ago,
when he was attending UC Berkeley. He told me that
he also attended the opening of the Innovation House
18 months earlier — since then, it has been used by
more than 25 companies. Norway is “constantly trying
to foster a culture of innovation,” he said. When I asked what kind of relationship they would
like to see between Norway and Silicon Valley, Mette-
Marit said: I think it’s important that we have this house as a
starting point. But obviously, we also have examples
of companies that have been doing very good here
before this house came … I think that’s important that
you have some companies that have done well and
are willing to take on a sort of mentoring role for the other companies coming after. I didn’t get a chance to go into too much depth with
the couple, but I though it was interesting to see them
discussing these issues at all. The video concludes
with a short interview and demo of technology from
Elliptic Labs, one of the companies at the Innovation
House. It’s developing gesture-based controls, sort of like Leap Motion, but designed to integrate with
tablets and smartphones. By the way, you might notice that I usually refer to
the crown prince and princess in the third person.
That’s because I was told that’s the polite way to
address royalty, though I suspect I still messed it up
somehow.

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