While virtual and augmented reality get a lot of attention for gaming and entertainment, there are countless companies working on applications, services, and platforms for myriad industries apart from entertainment.
Many of those companies came to this year's Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference to show their virtual wares. Here are 10 of the exhibitors that caught our eye.
Meta is an augmented reality headset with a 90 degree field of view and a 2560 x 1440 high-dpi display. The company did demos at SVVR to show off functions like conference calling in AR and online shopping. The Meta 2 developer kit will be available in Q3 for less than $1,000.
ForgeFX Training Simulations
ForgeFX makes industrial training simulations using virtual reality. At SVVR, one of the simulations they showed off was for training airport workers on how to de-ice the wing of a plane. The machine responded to real-life controllers.
SpaceVR has made a satellite camera that will be put into orbit in 2017 in order to stream its journey around the Earth in VR. They're selling subscriptions for the privilege of getting to space by merely putting on a headset.
VREAL is a live streaming platform for virtual reality gaming. Think Twitch, but for VR. But, instead of just watching someone play a game in VR, you can be in the game with them.
AltspaceVR is a social VR experience founded in 2013. There are various things to do in Altspace, like play Dungeons and Dragons, practice a foreign language, or attend tech-focused events as an avatar. At SVVR, AltspaceVR announced a Slack integration that lets users go from Slack, right into a VR call.
It was only a matter of time—Retinad offers analytics for VR developers including gaze-heatmaps and behavioral analytics so that VR makers get a better idea for how people are interacting with the experiences they create.
VRecover is VR for rehabilitation. It uses gamification in physical and occupational therapy. It can also collect data on movement during rehabilitation.
Perhaps if VR rooms ever become a thing in people's residences, they'll include omnidirectional treadmills, like Infinideck, so that users can move more naturally in VR environments.
There's an increasing number of companies focused on content creation, but izmocars is focused on the automotive industry, and is now getting into the virtual reality space.
VRCommerce is a platform where retailers can launch a virtual store in which to sell their goods. Thier website says it's akin to the "Matrix movie gun selection scene."
- Social VR, space VR, and 360 cameras: SVVR's opening keynote (TechRepublic)
- How virtual reality can save humanity (TechRepublic)
- Hands on with the Meta 2 augmented reality headset (TechRepublic)
- The tough questions of ethical content creation in VR (TechRepublic)
Erin Carson has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.