Neos has started its development as an educational application for VR, but over the time its design has been generalized into a full metaverse engine, designed to power not only social VR educational applications, but any other kind of single or multi user VR application imaginable, from scientific visualizations, art, entertainment and so on.
This page details some of its development history to give some context and explain where the project has come from.
The very first educational demo for VR by Frooxius was produced with cooperation with VR Union in 2014, after finding a shared passion for learning and education. The demo was presented at Czech Startup Innovation contest. It was mostly a simple anatomy visualization demo for the Oculus DK1 and Razer Hydra, allowing users to take apart the human body.
World of Comenius
Continuing the efforts to produce an educational VR software lead to cooperation with doc. Petr Klan and Mendel Grammar School in Opava, Czech Republic, which led to the first pilot project to use VR in a secondary school. Application called World of Comenius was developed for this purpose, featuring more educational content, such as entering the bloodstream or the brain or interacting with a charged particle simulation.
The application was single-user only and from the pilot project it was made clear that it needs a social component, which would allow the students to interact with each other. Another issue was integration with different headsets and new input systems and the speed at which the content could be produced and updated. From these needs arose the first iteration of what would become Neos, but was still called "World of Comenius" at this point.
Later on, this application was extended with simple building and drawing tools for the Leap Motion 3D Jam, to prototype and demonstrate more interactive elements as well as ideas to build content directly within VR.
The pilot project of World of Comenius as well as Frooxius' previous demo SightLine: The Chair have caught attention of Rothenberg Ventures, who invited the newly formed company Solirax to the first VR accelerator "River VR". The funding and networking enabled Solirax to highly expand the vision, leading to the project being renamed to Neos and prototyping several iterations of its design in the following years.
Neos: The Universe
In 2015 another simple educational app was produced for the GearVR, as part of the Oculus & Samsung 3D Jam. This app used small portion of the NeosVR codebase (which wasn't anywhere near functional at the time), but was otherwise an standalone app, meant to demonstrate the goals and applications of the "big" NeosVR.