Press Kit


A festive, winter-themed introduction to THE BOX–an app for delivering and receiving virtual gifts. A gift, or Box, is delivered to you. Opening THE BOX transports you to a different world, where a unique immersive experience ensues. This Box takes you to an enchanted paper forest where the night sky comes to life and magical woodland creatures gather with you around a winter fire.


Seattle, WA, December 17th 2015 – Virtual Reality Studio, 8ninths, today launches a groundbreaking VR experience, “THE BOX.” One of the first new ‘Concepts’ in the Samsung Gear VR Oculus Store, the free app offers a unique and proprietary “Short Form VR” experience.

Arriving in a personal holodeck, The BOX recreates the fun of receiving and opening a mysterious gift in a virtual format. The first experience available, the Winter box, takes viewers on an enchanting journey through a snowy, starfilled landscape where they sit by an open fire and meet a friendly mother bear and her playful cub.

THE BOX will be available on Cardboard VR and other platforms in the new year and, as its repertoire grows, VR viewers will receive new boxes tailored to their interests and experience a whole range of new creative realities.

In much the same way that Twitter and Instagram have transformed the way we consume the written word and photography, 8ninths aims to change our concept of the VR experience, with what they call Short Form VR – a bite-sized and easy way to access VR.  

“The BOX is our vision for the future of Virtual Reality,” says founding member of Microsoft Live Labs and 8ninths CEO Adam Sheppard. “This novel ‘Short Form VR’ format has the potential to become the predominant way to receive and relive VR experiences. These brief escapes from the real world are almost like a daydream, changing your mood and environment for a short time — without having to spend hours wearing a headset.”

Digi-Capital forecasts that augmented and virtual reality will be a $120Bn Market by 2020. With more than $1 billion USD invested in the industry over the past year, 2016 will be a landmark year for VR tech, and we will see a number of new platforms in stores such as Cardboard VR, Oculus, HTC Vive, Hololens and Magic Leap.

The Samsung Gear VR headset, released this fall, is now available to buy for $99 in the USA. Many more virtual and mixed reality headsets and applications will be hitting the shelves in 2016 and THE BOX will be the must have app for VR and tech lovers everywhere.

8ninths is working with many leading brands to create original and entertaining branded boxes as well as extending the App to other emerging VR Platforms.

“As marketers explore the potential for Virtual Reality, ‘Short Form VR’ is the perfect way to engage an audience in an immersive way and bring them experiences aligned with both their users and their brand. Whether it’s an airline sponsoring a box that takes you to a far off destination or an outdoor wear brand taking you to the top of Everest, it’s a whole new approach to digital marketing. ” added Sheppard.


Located in Seattle, Washington

Release Date:
December 17th 2015

Samsung Gear VR





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About 8ninths

8ninths was founded by former Microsoft veterans, Adam Sheppard and William Lai. Sheppard was a founding member of Microsoft Live Labs, an applied Research Group at Microsoft and worked with Ray Ozzie and Bill Gates on new concepts such as Photosynth and Deep Zoom.

Lai was a pioneer in the development of instant messaging, and lead the team that released MSN messenger, which was later nominated as a “Legendary Development Team of Microsoft.”

8ninths is working in conjunction with Oculus and Samsung Gear VR to create fully immersive 360° VR experiences, presented in an innovative subscription gift package.
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The Box – Winter Box Credits

Adam Sheppard

Co-Founder, Executive Producer

William Lai

Co-Founder, Executive Producer

Heather Raikes

Creative Director

Kevin Maxon

Lead Developer

Thomas Huang

Lead Animator, 3D Modeler

Galen Drew

Concept Designer, User Experience Designer

Anna Heatwole

User Experience Designer, Story Boards

David Dossett

Sound Designer, Composer




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