HTC announced the selection of the second batch of companies to join its global accelerator program, Vive X. No less than 33 startups will receive support and funding to develop the VR and AR ecosystem in three segments: hardware advancement, professional services, and public-oriented content.
More and more VR and AR developers are seeking early-stage support to develop their innovative concepts and solutions. As a response to this demand, many VR/AR-focused accelerators have emerged; such as Samsung Accelerator, Boost VC, SXSW Accelerator, Green Screen Institute and HTC’s Vive X.
Vive X From a Startup to a Global VR Accelerator
HTC’s Vive X was created as a startup itself, then in a less than a year went on to become a leading VR developer and a global VR accelerator comprising over 60 companies, providing them with funding, logistical support, expertise, and mentorship.
Last July, HTC Vive had already selected the first batch of 33 companies selected among hundreds of candidates. An experience that resulted in projects like TPCast, a wireless add-on developed for the Vive. HTC claims no exclusivity on any project; against what it calls “a small amount of equity”, each startup gets anywhere between $50,000 and $200,000 USD.HTC's Vive X selections indicate the strongest trends in VR entertainment.Click To Tweet
On March 27th, HTC announced the second batch of accelerated startups, in conjunction with the Vive Ecosystem Conference, held in Shenzhen, China. Batch 2 also includes 33 other startups with projects touching the main categories of the VR ecosystem: hardware and software (public and professional).
Given their strong position within the VR/AR industry, HTC’s actions can indicate trends likely to form within the field.
Here are 3 Trends That HTC’s Vive X Investments Reflect:
1. Hardware Advancement
The search for a more immersive, simpler and more autonomous VR system continues. To that end, HTC Vive X has selected the most promising startups relative to that goal.
For example, TEGway, which develops the F-TED, a thermoelectric device that enables users to feel temperature or pain in VR/AR environments, could revolutionize VR hardware.
BHaptics offers Tactosy, a low-energy Bluetooth compatible device that transmits haptic (tactile) feedback to users and thus immerses them further into the VR experience.
In order to improve the immersive quality of the VR experience, investments like these will need to be made. These two startups are good examples of how a startup accelerator like Vive X can influence a trend towards greater immersion in VR.
2. Solutions for Professionals
Some startups offer solutions and applications dedicated to professional VR developers. If the industry is going to flourish to become a mainstream entertainment outlet, these professional infrastructures will need to be put in place.
CognitiveVR is an analytics platform that offers a set of tools to analyze the behavior of users in VR and AR environments. Limitless offers cloud-based solutions, which simplifies the process of VR content creation. BYOND is another cloud-based platform that allows developers to create and publish VR apps.
3. Better VR Content to Draw new Users
A big issue with VR entertainment’s popularity has been its lack of compelling content.
For the public’s sake, HTC has chosen developers with exciting VR entertainment projects. Multiverse is a game publisher that is now developing “Seeking Dawn,” a massive open-space sci-fi game. Construct Studio creates interactive narrative VR experiences. “The Price of Freedom” is the studio’s first VR narrative, based on Project MK Ultra, the CIA’s mind control program.
These content-focused projects create an exciting horizon for VR gaming.
These startups joined Vive X accelerator programs located in four cities: San Francisco, Taipei, Beijing, and Shenzhen. Soon, HTC will be opening Vive X in Israel.