There are several thousand companies around the world in the virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) space. Vancouver, British Columbia, is considered one of the top five VR/AR hubs in the world.
What has contributed to Vancouver’s prominence? While various factors come into play, talent and expertise provide the foundation: Vancouver’s VR/AR talent pool runs deep. With a long, firmly established history in film and gaming, Vancouver has benefited from the spin-off of this expertise into VR/AR, where the technologies used in creating visual effects and animation are complementary to creating immersive experiences. This community has also harnessed a thriving research and educational network and a strong creative workforce to grow to a critical mass—an ecosystem of over 230 companies in the Vancouver area alone.
Innovation is nurtured by collaboration and facilitated by proximity. Vancouver’s VR/AR ecosystem includes content providers in gaming, 360 capture, audio and film. Some are VR/AR hardware companies, while others have found a niche in training or tools development.
As VR/AR continues to gain traction, it is increasingly finding uses in marketing, medicine, real estate, natural resources, retail, sports, professional training, tourism, entertainment and more. And as the industry matures, generalist VR/AR companies in B.C. are giving way to those specialized in specific verticals offering targeted enterprise solutions.
For the fourth time, Vancouver will soon be hosting the VR/AR Global Summit on November 1-2, 2019, where companies from more than 20 countries will gather to share knowledge and network. Large, well known brands, which typically do not come to mind when thinking of VR/AR, will be participating, including Mastercard, Boeing, Siemens, Raytheon and Walmart. Vancouver’s boutique VR/AR companies will join other big names with established presence in Vancouver, including Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon and Intel.
British Columbia has a lot to offer as a great place to invest and do business. VR/AR has placed Vancouver on the map as a global hub—a special place to be.
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