Austin VR Getting Very Interesting

The Forrest Four-Cast: May 13, 2017

Congrats to Owlchemy Labs, who earlier this week were acquired by Google. If you are not familiar with the grand vision of company CEO Alex Schwartz (pictured above), then read about the press he generated during this year’s edition of March Magic.

This acquisition is the latest in a string of success stories from Austin-based companies VR companies. As covered in AustinInno, four other local companies to watch include TheWaveVR, ThrillBox, Virtuix and Duelboot. Another leader in the Central Texas scene is Patrick Curry, who gave an incredible overview of this industry at the Austin Forum last July. Click here to watch the video of his outstanding lecture.

We’ve also seen significant buzz around virtual reality at SXSW. 2017 was the second year the VR / AR Track, informative panels and presentations that spanned three full days and included industry heavyweights such as Nonny de la Peña, Felix Lajeunesse, and Robert Scoble. 2017 was also the second year of the hands-on VR Cinema exhibit space. This year’s event at the JW Marriott drew huge crowds of registrants interested in learning more about the most current developments in this much-buzzed about industry.

Personally, I’m not entirely convinced about the VR experience. Or not entirely convinced yet. At the most basic level, most of the headsets are still too bulky, too ugly and too expensive. Given all the attention around Augmented Reality at this year’s F8 Conference, my bet is that the AR side of the fence will bloom a bit faster in the near future.

But in a few years, when the hype of VR hype and reality of VR finally converge, it looks like a lot of the top innovation in this space will be coming from some of Austin’s most cutting-edge startups.

Hugh Forrest tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often (but not always) cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.

Austin VR Getting Very Interesting was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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