Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are slated to enrich our lives over the coming years, adding virtual, computer-generated elements layered on top of our real-world experience, or by creating entire virtual worlds in which we can immerse ourselves. Consumer and enterprise experiences will be augmented with advances in immersive technology enabling enhanced training programs, product visualization, and even empathy-fostering experiences that connect people to others with very different experiences.
Some of the most innovative work in AR and VR is taking place in Israel, home to more than 75 startups in the space. From June 11th-14th, a delegation of eight Israeli AR and VR companies will showcase their solutions as part of a roadshow across East Asia, with stops in Taiwan, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Israeli consuls in Taiwan, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong worked diligently to orchestrate the roadshow, which will feature cutting-edge companies such as:
- Sixdof Space, founded in February 2017 and based in Jerusalem, utilizes optical positional technology to capture images at frame rates of as many as 1,000 frames per second. The company’s technology has significant applications in key tech sectors, including AR/VR, automotive, and drones, which all require real-time positional tracking.
- EyeSight leverages deep learning and artificial intelligence to create embedded sensing solutions that can be used in a wide range of sectors, including automotive; IoT and smart home; viewer analytics; and consumer electronics. EyeSight’s technology is designed for common interactions in AR/VR experiences, including gesture recognition and finger tracking, as well as detecting user presence and recognizing user actions.
- Wearable Devices develops human-machine interface solutions for the smart wearables industry. Founded in March 2014, the Jerusalem-based company has one granted patent and has issued several patents in wearable computing. Among its products is a VR/AR mouse for wearable computers; the mouse recognizes finger and thumb movements and enables users to interact with various objects they encounter during their experiences.
As with other sectors of Israel’s thriving tech ecosystem, innovation in AR and VR is the byproduct of research and development in both the public and private sectors. The Israeli Air Force has pioneered the development of head-mounted display (HMD) systems, and Israel’s widely acclaimed strengths in video and computer vision – developed by such companies as Mobileye, Elbit, and Verint – have been a boon to immersive technologies. Multinational corporations and startup accelerators have capitalized on Israel’s prowess in the sector – from the Israeli engineers developing Apple’s AR technology to the accelerator MassChallenge’s partnership with PTC Israel to build out MassChallenge’s strengths in AR.
Goldman Sachs forecasts that the AR/VR market could reach up to $182 billion by 2025, while Gartner projects that 20 percent of large scale-businesses will have adopted AR, VR, and mixed reality solutions by 2019. Gartner’s research suggests that mainstream adoption will occur within the next five to 10 years. When it happens, the millions who will benefit could very well have Israeli technology inside to thank.