Gaming / Startups / VR

4 #dctech companies doing cool things with virtual reality

From gaming to audio to monetization, D.C. is a surprising hotbed of VR development.

Playing VR sports with NotionTheory. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)'s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The March 2017 topic explores augmented and virtual reality. See AR/VR coverage from all five of our East Coast markets here.

Virtual reality. It’s happening right here in D.C.

From experimental arcades to new and better cameras and beyond, we’ve been told D.C. is a fun place to be working with VR. And a quick browse through the various companies working in VR in D.C. reveals an extraordinary diversity of angles by which entrepreneurs are approaching the technology — both its challenges and promise.

Here are four D.C. area companies doing cool things in four very different areas of VR.


Known for its zany projects, this downtown D.C.-based digital agency has been doing a lot of work with virtual reality in the past months. In August, NotionTheory opened one of the East Coast’s first VR arcades (shoutout to this place in Brooklyn). And more recently the company built a glove that allows users to feel in VR. Now that’s cool.

Discovery VR

The virtual reality-focused arm of Discovery Communications, based in Silver Spring, Md., is a major VR content creator. The videos created by Discovery include VR tours of world cities, news reports in VR, documentary-style videos and much more.


Sensics wants to see VR move beyond the gimmick stage. So the Columbia, Md.-based company has created Open Source VR, a standard operating software for virtual reality, and the Home Suite — a new concept for making virtual reality comfortable for the consumer and monetizable for the creator. Read more in our recent profile of the platform.


If you’ve ever spent time in virtual reality, you were probably pretty focused on the visuals. 3D video is indeed pretty impressive. But have you ever stopped to think of the 3D audio that must accompany a VR experience? That’s what College Park, Md.-based VisiSonics does.


Want to meet more cool companies and innovators in VR? Check out DCVR Meetup. The 1,400-member group holds regular meetups on all kinds of topics and represents a broad range of what’s happening in VR at the local level.

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


The Trump rally shooter perched on a building owned by American Glass Research. Here’s everything we know about it.

Quantum computing could be the next hot tech — if only that breakthrough would come

New tech hub Station DC is launching with a $2M government grant

From global juggernauts to local government, this developer never stops serving

Technically Media