Ever dreamt of becoming a pilot, an arctic explorer, an astronaut or a rockstar? Go ahead, do it! It’s never too late to live out your wildest dreams, they say.

And now, thanks to the fast evolving immersive VR/AR technologies, you actually can do it without having to turn your life upside down – from the comfort of your own living room.

New territories

VR, AR, MR, XR – not some geeky acronyms to easily disregard, but technologies worth keeping up with. The adoption of X Reality (or cross reality) is a fundamental shift in how people view, share, or create media and it is steadily making its way to become ubiquitous as more and more use-cases are explored, getting different industries involved. Apart from the obvious domain of gaming and entertainment, healthcare, education or architecture are also getting excited about the underlying possibilities.

No surprise then that the AR/VR industry is predicted to become a $209 billion market by 2022. With Facebook buying Oculus, Google owning HTC Vive, Microsoft developing HoloLens or Apple rumoured to be working secretly on their own technology for years now, all the big players have joined the game and are investing heavily in R&D. But there are several entry points for newcomers as well: 360 cameras, headsets, media devices, applications to develop, and new industrial use-cases to be uncovered.

With affordable headsets reaching the mass market, businesses of any kind can think about ways to utilize AR/VR technology. For example as a property developer, you can walk your future clients through their office. As a designer, offer personal shopping with the help of augmented reality. Or expand your travel agency’s services with virtual tours and help people explore the world who might not be able to travel otherwise. New business opportunities are popping up everwhere you look.

Real answers to real problems

Technology evolves fast and there is a lot of fine-tuning to be made –  thus creating opportunities for startups to bring valuable solutions.  Take the example of Varjo, a Finnish startup bringing  you the only human-eye resolution VR headsets.  If you have ever worn virtual reality glasses, chances are you got nauseous and felt uneasy after a while. This is called virtual sickness, and it can be caused by slower refresh rate or lower resolution of the headset – but with Varjo’s resolution, you can kiss these symptoms goodbye.  That said, there are other aspects where a new approach or a more seamless solution can make a pioneer.

The scene of AR/VR startups in the Nordics is a flourishing one. Business Finland’s report found more than 100 companies operating in this domain only in Finland.  And aspiring startups in the region can find all the support they need: Nordic XR Startups is an early-stage investor and accelerator for XR startups offering pre-seed investment up to 100k€. They run a 6-months acceleration providing startups with mentoring and introduction to a wide network of experts from the XR space.

“This year NXS has seen a record number of applications to join the program, even many from outside the Nordics. The companies range from VR to AR, games to B2B, software to hardware” – said Petri Rajahalme, Managing Director of Nordic XR Startups.

Go beyond

Immerse yourself in the world of XR at Arctic15’s X Reality Track on 5-6 June in Helsinki. Powered by our partners Nordic XR Startups, the program will cover the state of XR in Europe, industry use-cases, marketing of immersive content and will showcase startups from the Nordics.

Joining us as speakers among others are Urho Konttori, CEO of Varjo, Julia Ognieva, Strategic Product Partnerships, Platform and Augmented Reality at Facebook,  Masaru Ohnogi, Head of Global Business Development at Gumi and Petri Rajahalme, Managing Director at Nordic XR Startups.

Meet investors, the hottest startups and industry thought leaders.

Get your tickets here.