Vive X is an incubator started by HTC that is designed to help VR startups turn their ideas into profitable realities. Earlier this week, Vive X hosted its very first demo day at its downtown San Francisco headquarters. This was an opportunity for members of the press and of the investment community to see these young companies explain their products and value propositions directly. The event was well attended and revealed a few obvious patterns in the Vive X inaugural class.
One of the most consistently revisited company types in this batch of Vive X demo days was VR avatars. No less than four companies in the 20 company class were working towards a viable, marketable solution for 3D avatars. These all differed slightly but the presence of so many similar startups in one accelerator did drive home the point that creating a sense of consistent identity in VR is something that HTC desperately wants to see improved.
The companies working on VR avatar systems from Vive X are:
Breq Labs – BreqLabs builds tracking solutions for hand interaction and body position in mobile VR through its proprietary technology
ObEN – ObEN is an artificial intelligence company that combines a person’s 2D image and voice to create a realistic and personalized 3D virtual self, which can be transported into VR/AR experiences and made social.
Surreal VR – SurrealVR offers a drop-in Social VR Framework that can make any VR experience social. SurrealVR comes with cross-platform support for avatars, voice chat, networked gameplay and physics, shopping and more.
Teemew – Teemew allows users in different locations to share VR experiences. It is used to communicate and collaborate in the same virtual or real environments.
The other major thrust of the demo day exhibitors was virtual reality advertising and monetization. Several of the startups had creative ideas on how to turn VR into a powerful marketing tool, or to create paid activations around the world. These companies ranged from analytics platforms created by advertising veterans, to large scale arcades meant to turn the fun VR can offer into profit.
The companies working on these sorts of ideas at Vive X are:
Apmetrix -Apmetrix provides a complete analytics platform, including cutting-edge analytics for VR and AR companies. This proprietary software allows companies to analyze user behaviors in order to gain insights and track emotional reactions to create better content and maximize advertising efficacy
Fishbowl VR – Fishbowl VR provides crowd-sourced testing and user insights to help content creators figure out what works and what doesn’t in virtual reality.
Immersv – Immersv is a VR advertising and content distribution platform, which allows advertisers, brands and app developers to promote and monetize content within VR experiences.
Lumiere – Lumiere is a 360 studio with in-house filmmaking technology. It incubates artists by providing them technology in exchange for IP, which is then distributed through our Chinese channels creating a monetization solution for everybody.
Metaverse Technology – Metaverse Technology creates VR tools for military simulations, multiplayer online First Person Shooter content, and large-scale virtual entertainment centers focused on shooting sports.
From here the Vive X companies will continue to receive support from HTC as they begin the search for investment funding. Some facts about the Vive X program and demo day provided by HTC are:
- Vive X is the only VR/AR focused accelerator program.
- Funded by $100 Million investment from HTC.
- More than 1200 applications in the first batch (Showing so much interest and promise in VR/AR).
- 20 companies demoed, with nearly 40 currently in the program.
- Hosting demo days next week as well in Beijing and Taipei with 15-20 different companies.
- There were more than 100 VCs at the event last night
- Second batch of applications close on 12/19
A new Vive X class will be announced in early 2017.