I’m often asked where are the hot spots? Where is the VR action happening? People ask me from the perspective and belief that new research and development is happening in just one or a handful of specific places.

I am always struck how global the development of VR and AR is across all sectors. Here are some great sources, among many others, that help track all the moving parts: AllThingsVR,, VRScout, and GreenlightVR newsletter.

The industry’s hardware development is being fueled by multi-national corporations Samsung, a South Korean company, HTC from Taiwan, Sony from Japan, Oculus Rift in the United States. Software leaders in the space include gaming leaders like Unity Technologies, San Francisco, Unreal Engine VR and Unreal Engine VR, and for editing 360 video there are many emerging and established players, including Adobe.

Then, there startups that are growing at such lightning-speed it’s almost too hard to keep up with the many companies working on VR and AR technologies far and wide.

The startup companies cross such a broad spectrum of applications for various industries: education, ecommerce, tourism, medicine, healthcare, real estate/construction/architecture, sports, media, entertainment, space, cars, planes, and so on. There’s barely an industry untouched, and much of it depends on both the technology of 360 filming, live rendering, as well as the evolution of precision in building virtual worlds and then there is the format. VR games have a shorter bridge to connecting with motivated fans, by creating yet another way for them to enjoy their favorite pastime. Startups working on other applications are spread all over the world. Tipatat from the The Virtual Reality Fund puts out the very best landscape on market, and many of those companies are global.

Here are a few companies I think are really interesting outside the United States:

  • Asia, Japan. Headsets, eye-tracking tech. FOVE
  • Europe, Finland. Augmented reality platform. ArilynVR
  • South America, Brazil. Gaming VR. Imgnation
  • South Africa. Botswana. Cinematic. DeepVR

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