Web pioneer Halsey Minor bets on VR with Live Planet, by Troy Wolverton

Halsey Minor is no stranger to being at the bleeding edge of a new industry.

Over his more than two-decade career as an tech entrepreneur and businessman, Minor has been involved with numerous pioneering startups. CNET, which he co-founded, was one of the first web publishing companies. Salesforce.com, in which he was an early investor, was one of the first cloud services companies. And Rhapsody, in which he also was an early investor, was one of the first subscription music services.

After some real estate investments went bad, he filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the Great Recession. But now he’s returned to tech and is focusing on yet another nascent business — virtual reality. Live Planet, his new company, has developed a camera system designed to record stereoscopic three-dimensional VR experiences. And it’s working on a cloud-based service that would allow people creating VR videos to easily edit, produce and distribute them. The service would also help video creators tackle some of the thornier problems in VR, such as how to direct people viewing a 360-degree video to a particular focal point, like a stage or a basketball court.

Minor recently spoke with this newspaper about Live Planet and the future of virtual reality. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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