It’s that time of year! Join us for the next eight days for what’s become an OurCrowd tradition: highlighting during Hanukkah — the festival of lights – the top eight Israeli tech trends that spark the interest of our investment team and what they see on the ground.
Trend #5: Virtual Reality
Behind the trend:
‘Computer-simulated reality’, ‘immersive media’, whatever you call virtual reality, the artificial multisensory experience its technology offers is only getting better with each passing year. For more than a decade, we’ve seen advances in VR tech applied to military training, urban design, video games, and other home entertainment.
In September, ABC News became the first news organization to employ an immersive virtual reality experience in a newscast, inviting their viewers on a tour of Damascus, Syria. The war-torn city – largely cut off to the rest of the world – is now, in a way, accessible to anyone with a mobile device and a 3D viewing box. The Economist took on a similar initiative this past summer with RecoVR: Mosul, a recreation of archaeological artifacts from Iraq; while The New York Times released a VR film, The Displaced, which chronicles the tribulations of Syrian refugees.
What’s up next:
When it comes to VR, the Israeli startup ecosystem has been known to shine. Just this past summer (July 2015) Facebook agreed to buy the virtual reality startup Pebbles Interfaces for $85 million. VR is also impacting the consumer market with companies like Cimagine, who’s augmented reality app helps retailers enhance consumer engagement with products; and the health sector, like Surgical Theater, who developed VR software that combines the science of flight simulation with advanced CT/MRI imaging technology to allow surgeons to perform a 3D “flight simulation” of surgery before the actual operation.
FreeD™ technology, which stands for Free Dimensional Video, is the next evolutionary step of video and the moving image, says virtual reality startup Replay Technologies. Viewers will soon be freed from the constraints of a physical camera, whether they’re watching sports or news or films. Replay’s “freeD” instant replay system allows for a unique 360-degree, real-time perspective of sports plays. The technology made its NFL debut at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in 2014, but the company has since launched a “Generation 2” freeD system that can render game footage in just 30 seconds.
Check back with us each night of Hanukkah to learn about another tech trend sparking the Startup Nation!