EV man helps push new VR device to homes

Anthony “Tony” Baker, left,  and Andrew “Andy” Pearson aim to introduce customers to a different kind of virtual reality through their Gilbert business, called Apex Home Automation LLC.(Special to the Tribune)

The co-owner of an East Valley business and his partner are bringing a new kind of virtual reality experience to homes that doesn’t require headsets.

While VR typically requires a headset for the user for a wrap-around experience, The Beam can produce the same effect with computer software and a projector, according to Anthony Baker of Gilbert, who with Tempe resident Andrew Pearson, owns Apex Home Automation.

The Beam has been a specialty product used in hotels and upscale commercial gaming rooms to immerse players in a virtual world.

It relies on software to produce images, sounds and sensors that synch themselves to body movements.

The Beam is mounted on a ceiling or wall and projects a game for users. The games range from adventure, sports, education and many more that are downloadable online.

“Our industry is always changing, so it’s kind of fun to keep up with technology,” said Baker.

Baker said he wants “to start pushing The Beam more,” so he and Pearson are selling it to homeowners as a crown jewel option to their home project services.

Apex mainly sells home automation systems, which integrate lighting, audio and security into a single application.

“Our business is split between refurbishing old systems and getting in during home construction right after the drywall is installed,” said Pearson.

The two started their company

three years ago – right before the pandemic hit.

They had been working for an information technology company but feared how their former employer and the industry generally were failing to maintain a high commitment to innovation and emerging technology.

“The problem was coordinating, setting expectations and following through on those commitments. …We knew we could do better,” said Baker.

So after months of planning and research into all aspects of regulations and getting licensed for low-voltage work, they took the plunge and formed Apex.

Their marketing approach is low-voltage, too.

“Really only word of mouth. If someone is willing to refer us because of a stellar job we did on somebody’s project. It’s better than finding us online or that route,” said Pearson.

Baker and Pearson said they enjoy meeting the challenge of delivering innovative applications.

“There really isn’t anything we’d do differently because of how long we thought this out,” Baker said. “The only thing is I wish we had done, was start earlier.”

Information: apxav.com or 480-416-8195.