6 Cutting-Edge Virtual Reality Startups to Watch Out for in 2019
People may think that Virtual Reality is a new concept, but in fact, for decades experts have been coming up with ways to use computer technology to suspend reality and send the user into another environment. Morton Heilig invented the Sensorama back in the 1960s, a 3-D experience for which the user sat in front of an arcade game style unit that encompassed the head and even created vibrations and smells for the user to enjoy. Only a couple of years later, the technology became more like something we would recognise as VR today, when donning a headset would allow you to be travel to another world, with the advantage of being able to move around. The biggest market for the technology throughout the 1970s was armies, who relied on the headsets for training fighter pilots.
After the gaming market crash of the late 80s, Nintendo had several failed attempts at making VR happen. But producing impressive enough technology cost too much for the average household to afford, so success remained out of the company’s reach for several more years. In 2012, the Oculus Rift, developed by a solo gamer frustrated with what was on offer, changed all that. Offering 110% views, stereoscopic sound and visuals and motion tracking, you could be in London, Beijing and Johanessburg all in one night. In 2014, Facebook caught wind and bought the technology for $2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg’s intention was to “give people the power to experience anything. Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somwhere or to be with someone in person.”
Since then, VR has burgeoned to a $7 billion a year industry, with the expectation that global VR revenues will close at $75 billion by 2021. Wise investors should make moves now to profit from this incredible forecasted growth. Indeed, there is much to get excited about amongst the young startups in the VR sphere. Read on for our pick of the strongest cutting-edge VR startups as we head into 2019 and perhaps your new year’s resolution should be to invest.
1. Surgical Theater
Inspired by the training that fighter pilots undergo using VR technology, the clever team at Surgical Theater came up with a VR headset for surgeons. The technology has already been successful in preventing patient deaths, thanks to the superior preparations the surgeon can make before a procedure.
The technology takes the MRI scans, CT scans and angiograms of a patient to create a reconstructed 3-D model of their brain in all its uniqueness. The surgeon can then plan and even practice the upcoming surgery. The secondary use allows surgeons to explain the diagnosis, physiology and treatment procedure to their patient, which helps the patient feel more informed and safe. Trainee surgeons will benefit from this technology as it becomes more widespread.
The headsets have already been adopted by major American medical institutions, and as the rest of the world catches on the startup is sure to go from strength to strength
VirtualSpaces is set to revolutionise the world of real estate. By harnessing the ability to create entire environments for the user to walk through of their own free will, realtors can take their clients on tours of houses from the comfort of their couch.
Whether the clients are too busy to trek to individual appointments, or perhaps they’re looking for a property further afield, the VR headset allows potential buyers to make better decisions faster. The technology can even create an accurate impression of a property that is yet to be built from just the blueprints, allowing buyers to score amazing real estate before the last bricks have even been laid.
Likewise, we recommend acting early to bag an investment in this up and coming company.
As we have seen, online shopping is becoming more popular year on year. The only drawback seems to be that customers still want the opportunity to touch and try on clothing before they buy. Avametric has the solution.
Brands can construct VR dressing rooms that allow customers to try on outfits whilst still in their pyjamas at home. By inputting your body measurements, the technology is able to project your chosen garments onto a virtual model of your body.
Gap is already on board, and as other retailers follow suit Avametric will be the one to watch.
At Neurable, they are taking an already futuristic technology and blasting it into the next century. We are now able to control our devices with our voices or our eyes, but often there is a frustrating lag. Neurable’s technology allows users to interact with the technology using only their brain. Using electroencephalography, the non-invasive electrodes on the device record brain activity and can read the signals to detect what your brain wants to do and quickly follow the instructions, in essence creating a brain extension.
If you’re looking to invest in tech which is at the cutting-edge of what’s possible, Neurable is the one to beat.
5. Jaunt VR
Wanting to take storytelling to the next level, Jaunt VR makes 360-degree films that allow you to leave your body behind and immerse yourself in a completely different reality. Like Netflix for the VR age, Jaunt offers a mindboggling array of movies, documentaries and VR experiences. Perhaps you’ll be test driving a car on Big Sur, California, or taking a walk through the Amazon Rainforest, or maybe you’ll find yourself right in the middle of a zombie movie. The prospects are endless, as are the opportunities for profit.
Vreal is to VR what YouTube is to traditional video: a broadcasting platform for VR games. Trailblazing the fertile ground between VR and social media, the platform attracts developers, streamers and viewers who can link up using any VR headset. Say your favourite gamer is streaming their gameplay, you can be in the game with them, watching their every move or exploring on your own. Friends can link up in the virtual world and explore an alternate reality together.
As more people gain access to VR technology, this platform is set to explode as its traditional predecessors did in the last decade.
With VR set to explode into every living room in the Western world in the coming years, smart investors will make moves now to secure their own financial gains.