The future is here. Universities are using VR & mixed reality to teach the new generation about the world, architects and interior designers are using VR to simulate living environments, theme parks are getting equipped with VR glasses to offer unique experiences many of us would never go for in the real world. Humanity is keen to explore new universes by looking inwards, into the virtual reality headset.
When we talk about VR, we talk billions. Global VR revenue could reach $120 billion by 2020, while Mark Zuckerberg wants to get a billion people in virtual reality. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion, while Google bought HTC for $1.1 billion to push its VR efforts. Apple is not staying behind either and is now spending $3 billion in R&D on augmented reality. Just looking at the numbers it becomes clear that now is the perfect time for startups to tap into a pot of VR gold.
The Nordic/Baltic region was not left untapped, and many of the industry leaders are actually based here, such as the Nordic VR Startups accelerator. We reached out to them, for a list of the most interesting VR/AR startups to watch for and here is they are:
Immersal. Imagine walking into the Slush venue and seeing the information on each and every person or demo booth you come across. Immersal is working on AR technology that will make that happen. Lead by ex-IPR lawyer Rami Riihijarvi and ex-CMO of ZenRobotics Jufo Peltomaa the company is set to bring product locations & info, AR ads, paths, and other objects in large venues, such as retail stores, exhibition and shopping centres, stadiums, movie theatres, etc.
Varjo. Earlier this year the company hit the news with its newest bionic display technology which is able to reach human eye resolution. Varjo technology will enable unprecedented levels of realism for Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality, and is set to bring devices to professional market at the end of 2018.
Catland VR. Ever tried to flip a bottle in the air and gracefully catch it, just a professional bartender would? Like many of us, you probably wanted to but were afraid to take the risk. Taphouse VR, the first game by Catland, let’s you do just that and then serve a horde of dwarves in your medieval bar. Catland is a company that aims to create a unique VR experiences and this is certainly one example of such.
Pikseli Arcade. Immersive reality theme parks are now also in Scandinavia. Pikseli is the first VR park where you can choose from the great selection of movies, adventures and experiences such as birthdays or bachelor parties. This is a perfect way to experience virtual reality with friends in case you don’t have your own VR headset at home.
Hipfire Games. Imagine being on a Spaceship that is literally falling apart as you are trying to make it home safely. Together with friends – you must fix everything just at the right time in order to prevent your vessel from exploding. This is the premise of the first title by the company, which places a bet that multiplayer games will be at the core of VR growth, just as it was for PC’s.
Evocat. VR gaming is no longer a solo experience. Helsinki-based VR gaming startup Evocat is developing VR action games where families and friends can play together on the same couch. In their new game Nemesis Realms the VR player turns into a huge Boss monster, aiming to defeat Heroes controlled by his friends.
Advrty. Think you could escape pop-up ads in VR? Advrty will make sure the right brands will reach you even in your virtual reality. In a non-intrusive way of course. Company’s patent-pending platform lets creators of virtual and augmented reality content monetize with easy-to-integrate native advertising.
Holoeyes. Why should patients be examined by 2D pictures, when the human bodies are a three-dimensional object? Holoeyes brings a solution that enables medical professionals to share complicated information about patients between each other in the hospital. Said technology drives digital transformation in patient safety.
VR Unicorns. What the name of the company says is exactly what they do. Funny VR Unicorns are placed in a virtual world and you get to play relaxing, casual and fun sports games using unicorn characters. At the moment you can make unicorns play tennis, ski-jump or shoot some arrows.
3d Eye Studios. Comprised gaming industry veterans – the company is set to take on the future of development tools in the gaming space. Today, they are focusing on 3rd Eye Core, which frees up developers time by minimizing debugging. This is showcased in a game called “Spiral VR”
If you are in Helsinki during Slush, do not miss the chance to meet these startups as they are exhibiting at X Reality Day on November 30.