Startups
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)

Technical.ly'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.

NotionTheory

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

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.

VisiSonics

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.

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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.

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