Kelowna and Beyond

Yesterday in the Vancouver Sun, Gillian Shaw highlighted the thriving tech sector in the BC interior in an article titled B.C. tech takes flight. She tells a funny story about a Vancouver VC trying to track down the inside scoop on the $350-million sale of Kelowna’s Club Penguin to Walt Disney.

“A friend of a friend said he was in a taxi in Kelowna and because he was in a suit the driver asked if he was going to Club Penguin, there were rumours out there that Sony was talking to them and all these guys in suits were going to Club Penguin. When you’re in a small regional town like that, talk to the cab drivers — they know what’s going on.”

It turns out the Okanagan Science & Technology Council’snew mission of leading the development of thriving technology-driven sectors in the Okanagan is paying off in Kelowna. Another local company, start-up FMS Flight Motion Simulator Inc. is heading to Las Vegas in a couple weeks, to pick up their 2008 innovation award winner at the Consumer Electronics Show.

FMS makes the DreamFlyer, a flight simulator that has been featured on the Discovery Channel, in the Globe and Mail and on YouTube. The flight motion simulator includes a pilot’s cockpit seat, rudder pedals, a control stick and throttle, and replicates flight motion so that the brain perceives that you are actually in flight. Seated in the cockpit, you experience the effects of flight – movement, pitch and roll, pilot lead and pilot-induced oscillation.