Virtual Reality Companies in Asia – The Top 10
The concept of virtual reality (VR) has been around since the early 20th century. With the exponential and rapid growth in technology over the past few decades, the concept has now become much more of a reality, with Asia expected to lead the multibillion dollar virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market by 2020. The most popular form of VR is the full wraparound headset which provides an immersive visual and auditory experience. As people increasingly become immersed in the digital world, capitalising on the demand for this latest advancement in digital technology by entrepreneurs is not unlike ducks taking to water. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia takes a brief look at its list of Asia’s top virtual reality companies that are taking the digital world by storm.
- Samsung (South Korea)
The Samsung Gear VR headset is the most popular mobile headset in the world due to its accessibility and quality. It is designed to work with the popular Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It is also able to be paired with a motion controller and comes with an extensive app library. Overall, it makes for a great entry-level headset. For the more serious VR fans, Samsung offers the HMD Odyssey, a mixed reality (combination of VR and AR) premium headset which has been praised as a powerful device. Samsung has been reported to be working on another mixed reality (MR) headset that could be released as early as September which will certainly give Samsung time to compete with rival Apple’s MR headset slated to be released in 2020.
- Sony (Japan)
Sony’s VR endeavors have had wide exposure due to their implementation of the PlayStation VR headset with the current most popular gaming console, PlayStation 4. Although not as powerful as competing headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it is much more affordable. The sheer usage of the headset among millions of gamers is a testament to the success and popularity of the headset. The future also looks bright with the PlayStation VR gaming library rapidly increasing and big video game publishers making big title games compatible with the PlayStation VR.
- Grew Creative Lab (South Korea)
One of the biggest problems in VR is that many users report experiencing motion sickness. Grew Creative Lab, founded in 2014, is one of the companies at the forefront of tackling this problem. Its main product is a software called MOSKIT, the world’s first VR sickness analysis and reduction software. It has gathered recognition both in its home country of South Korea and internationally. Its other product, Grew AutoFocus is a plugin that developers can implement to reduce eye fatigue in the VR/MR/AR content. With steady sales, Grew Creative Lab has ambitious dreams and plans to enter the U.S. market.
- Hiverlab (Singapore)
Hiverlab has been a pioneering media technology company specializing in content creation, application development, and platform innovation with immersive technology (VR and AR) since 2014. Its multi-disciplinary team has established long-term strategic partnerships with important industry players such as Samsung, Huawei, and NVIDIA. To date, Hiverlab has business representatives in Finland, United States, Japan, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, and China. In 2018, Hiverlab was awarded the APAC Insider Singapore Business Awards: Best Immersive Technology System and Content Developer 2018. Its in-house content production team has produced content in various countries and continents for many prominent brands such as Toyota, Discovery Channel and HP.
- TaKanto (Singapore)
TaKanto is the first VR production company in Singapore and specializes in top-quality 360° productions which have garnered millions of social media views. Its impressive clientele include Air Asia, Johnson & Johnson and Flight Centre. Its has been involved in various industries including travel, tourism, hospitality and medical devices. In 2015, TaKanto drew significant media attention by collaborating with Flight Center to introduce 360° virtual reality videos of selected travel destinations in Flight Center stores across Singapore, the first of its kind in Asia. 2 years later, TaKanto further revolutionized the tourism industry by partnering with AirAsia to launch Asia’s largest 360° Virtual Reality social media production in conjunction with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary.
- 360VR Asia (Singapore)
360VR Asia is one of the region’s leading and most experienced performance 360VR video marketing companies. Headquartered in Singapore, it has offices in Malaysia and Thailand. Offices are soon to be open in Cambodia and China, opening a door to the increasingly important Chinese VR market. Established in 2007, 360VR Asia is a team of professionals with more than a decade of multi-disciplinary 360° and VR production experience. It specialises in producing corporate and commercial campaigns and training for different industries including aviation, banking and finance, and hospitality and tourism. Its project highlights include Singapore’s 2017 National Day Parade, POSB 140th Anniversary and CNBC‘s Wonderful Indonesia campaign.
- Shadow Creator (China)
Founded in 2014, Shanghai-based Shadow Creator is a leading company in China’s booming VR industry. It is engaged in developing VR devices and software. With more than 100 members in the company, the core technical team includes doctors from Cambridge University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, and postdoctoral fellows from Harvard University and Texas A&M. Most of their researchers come from worldwide market leaders in photo optics, intelligent hardware, embedded software and graphical development such as HUAWEI, Longcheer and Rochester Precision Optics. In 2016, it developed the first mass-produced AR/VR helmet in China, Halo. Shadow Creator is also a heavy developer in Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
- EmbodyME (Japan)
In 2016, EmbodyMe was founded in Tokyo by Issei Yoshida. It is currently developing “EmbodyMe”, a free VR app which allows users to create a 3D model with a face that looks exactly like them. The model requires a single photo of the user’s face making the 3D modelling process easy. Users will have full body control and can engage in activities not possible in the real world such as flying through the sky with balloons or taking medicine that makes them ugly. There is also the option to change avatars. It is also developing AR app, “Xpression” which allows users to replace someone else’s expression in a video with their own.
- Vostok VR (Singapore)
Vostok VR is a 360° video & VR production studio headquartered in Singapore, with an additional office in South Korea. Having more than 50 projects in its portfolio, the company has reached a dominant position in the creation of narrative and cinematic 360° content. Clients include Asia-based brands, media agencies and media companies such as numerous Mediacorp channels, Discovery Networks International and SPRING Singapore. It has recently worked with Marina Bay Sands and Sunway Medical Center. In 2017, Vostok VR won Shanghai International Film Festival’s Bright Talents Award. Vostok VR has currently acquired Takanto, becoming Asia’s first Virtual Reality merger and acquisition, and planning more upcoming big projects in the future.
Devin Ehrig (right) and Amit Chatterjee (left), Founders of Shadow Factory
- Shadow Factory (Hong Kong)
Shadow Factory is a leading developer of pan-industry extended reality content and solutions. Operating across Hong Kong and Toronto, what sets Shadow Factory apart from many other agencies and production houses is a comprehensive background in digital enterprise solutions and applications. It helps organisations construct strategies and adopt methodologies spanning product development, media production, content management systems (CMS), full-stack web development, as well as building MVPs and native apps. Its team plans to explore extended reality further not only within the scope of entertainment and immersive media but also in productivity.