Day: May 7, 2020

The First-Ever Live, Virtual Reality Comedy Special Could Only Happen Now

7 min read

The first thing you notice after strapping on a CEEK headset is that the seats in its simulated theater are empty, which is an eerie approximation of the atmosphere in shuttered concert venues and movie houses around the world. A product that was designed to simulate a commonplace, but often inaccessible, consumer experience — like attending a Lady Gaga concert at Madison Square Garden or witnessing U2 wow thousands at Rose Bowl Stadium, both CEEK offerings — has suddenly become its closest real-world designate.

This was not what the company’s founder and CEO, Mary Spio, had in mind when she launched CEEK in 2015. The venture was an entrepreneurial step in her career, which began with training as an Air Force engineer and evolved into groundbreaking work as a satellite-communications designer for NASA and Boeing. (The tech she helped pioneer for the latter was commercialized by Lucasfilm in the Star Wars franchise.)

Ideally, CEEK — which boasts proprietary tech and streaming capabilities and is blockchain-enabled — would gradually be embraced by both artists and the public as a way to augment their relationship to live . If she built it, Spio reasoned, content partners and consumers would come. And over its five-year existence, they have. Shows, one-off performances and interviews from

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