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ar/vr

3 cool VR startups you can meet in South Korea this December

Image credit: Pixabay.

As virtual reality (VR) technology attracts both consumers and investors, a wide range of startups are taking AR/VR beyond headsets to give users a more authentic experience.

Scheduled to be held from November 30 until December 2 in Seoul, Korea, Startup Festival 2017 is one of the leading events in Asia’s startup scene. Hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the festival’s agenda focuses on the technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as IoT, fintech, ICO, and AR/VR.

Here are three AR/VR startups you need to watch out for at the festival:

1. Locomotion platform/VR treadmill WizDish

Does VR make you sick, literally? Many people experience simulation sickness when playing VR games. If you’re seated but your visual cues signal you’re walking, then chances are you will experience dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms related to motion sickness.

Your body feels disconnected when what you see doesn’t match what you feel. The evolutionary explanation for this is that your body assumes that you’ve been poisoned, so it tries to induce vomiting to cleanse your system.

Wizdish’s ROVR is a VR treadmill that allows a person to walk and move freely in VR worlds. The treadmill listens to the sound made by sliding feet and converts this into forward motion in games. This feature allows you to fully engage with your game and matches the visual input with your physical stimuli. Less sickness, more motion.

2. 3D audio startup Kinicho

Imagine you’re walking through a cave. Your eyes would probably dart to the dark shadows on the wall and the faint light from your torch. Your ears would also likely perk up because sound is an important aspect of “being present” in any given environment. If a bat were to fly over your head, the flapping sound from its wings wouldn’t be the same as what you’d hear if it were to fly beside you.

Traditional audio recordings, however, can only account for the sound from one fixed point – where the microphone was placed.

Image credit: Kinicho.

With 3D audio, the virtual sound in headphones is designed to come as close as it can to sounds in the real world. 3D audio startup Kinicho’s novel approach to producing 3D spatial audio in VR/AR helps developers take better control of their soundtracks.

To deliver a more authentic VR experience, Kinicho’s method takes into account the spatial relationship involving listeners, sound emitters, and the environment in a virtual world.

3. Smartphone VR visor Altergaze

Funded via Kickstarter, Altergaze merges the concept of “crowd manufacturing” with AR/VR. The result is a 3D-printed, smartphone-based VR headset that offers an immersive 110-degree field of view (FOV) experience – and it comes in a compact and wireless package.

Using 3D printing technology to create a product offers a high level of customization. At the moment, Altergaze boasts of over 8.4 million unique variations depending on the design model, smartphone size, and color combinations. The visor looks vaguely like the goggles worn by the minions in the popular cartoon Despicable Me.

Image credit: Altergaze Kickstarter.

The headset is compatible with any smartphone, regardless of platform and display size. Moreover, it uses a device that almost everyone owns: a smartphone. Just slide it in the Altergaze headset, and you’re good to go.

Catch a glimpse of these three promising startups at the Startup Festival 2017. At the events ground, startups and VCs will have the opportunity to network and hold one-on-one consultations. There will also be an On-Air Zone where startups can gain media exposure.

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