Last year HTC formed the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA) alongside some of the biggest investors in the VR industry. This alliance offered a total of $10bn USD to VR content creators in conjunction with the Vive X accelerator program. The VRVCA has just held its fourth closed-door members meeting in San Francisco, with 10 teams from 5 different regions showcasing their achievements.
These startups included 7invensun, ObEN and TPCast, each making progress with interactive eye tracking, social connection, and wireless connectivity.
7invensun, a Vive X batch II team based in Beijing, has created real-time eye tracking for HTC Vive systems in the form of an upgrade kit known as aGlass. The aGlass DK II will start limited pre-order sales next month priced at RMB 1,500 (approx. $219 USD. Each set of aGlass DK II’s comes supplied with a pair of 200°, 400° and 600° myopic lenses and supports customised lenses.
“It’s a great honour for us to attend VRVCA this year and we’re super excited about the benefits aGlass can bring to lower hardware requirements and thus enable broader access to high quality VR. Thanks to Vive X, we are able to work and share resources with a variety of Vive X teams, and jointly create more VR/AR eye-tracking solutions in game interaction, financial payment, travel guide, and so on. Our vision is to empower a new and cool way of human-computer interaction through eye tracking.” said Thomas Huang, Founder and CEO of 7invensun in a statement.
While ObEN has built artificial intelligence (AI) technology that integrates with China’s WeChat, a popular social platform allowing all HTC Vive users and WeChat’s 889 million mobile users to interact with each other.
“China is a world leader in both mobile internet and VR adoption. We are thrilled to join forces with Tencent and HTC Vive to tackle the challenge of improving Social VR experiences using ObEN’s AI technology,” said Nikhil Jain, cofounder and CEO, ObEN. “Today’s showcase not only enables shared experiences between users of China’s top social and VR platform but is also an early demonstration of how ObEN’s Personal AI can drive and create AI generated content.”
TPCast on the other hand needs little introduction. The company developed a wireless solution last year which has seen widespread media coverage. At the showcase TPCast announced its Business Edition tether-less upgrade kit, a multi-user solution that allows up to six users to interact in one physical space. The product is due to launch later this year.
“We believe this industry milestone will really change the game completely for multiuser VR and ultimately unleash the tether-less VR world!” said Michael Liu, CEO of TPCAST. “We sincerely appreciate VRVCA for giving us this opportunity to show our latest tether-less VR product to the world. Also we would like to express our gratitude to HTC Vive for being always supportive to us.”
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Vive X and VRVCA, reporting back with the latest technological updates.