The 20 startups shown off at HTC’s Vive X accelerator demo day

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The 20 startups shown off at HTC’s Vive X accelerator demo day

Today, HTC hosted a demo day event in San Francisco highlighting 20 of the startups that have made their way through the company’s Vive X virtual reality accelerator program.

Vive X is dedicated to accelerating the virtual reality industry as a whole, something that is undoubtedly useful to HTC as the company doubles down on its virtual reality bets.

A good deal of the startups focused on the task of bringing greater social interaction into virtual reality, while other focused on more of the structural needs of the industry in terms of analytics and other “backbone” technologies.

HTC has Vive X programs running in San Francisco, Beijing, Taipei and Shenzhen. The heavy impact of HTC’s efforts in China were on full display at the event Tuesday where a host of startups focused on Asian markets presented. Over 1200 startups applied to the Vive X program.

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AppMagics

Snapchat has given us the priceless gift of smart filters that place dog ears or mustaches onto our faces but how does this technology translate into virtual worlds with more realistic avatars?

AppMagics is a startup tackling some of the computer vision problems needed to accurately track user emotions and translate them for avatars. The Beijing-based startup uses smartphone front-facing cameras to gather face tracking data that brings your personality into mixed reality environments.

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Medical Augmented Intelligence

Medical instruction is all about trial and error but for most med students, there’s only so much access to physical models or cadavers.

Medical Augmented Intelligence is working on a virtual reality tool called Acupuncture VR designed to help medical students gain the training and insights necessary to help them learn the practice or stabbing people with needles the right way. Augmented Intelligence is aiming to tackle more medical fields that can benefit from this type of virtual reality instruction. The team wants to build the platform into curriculums across China.

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Fulldive

Fulldive wants to become the Reddit of VR. The startup is a mobile VR content discovery platform that is already sporting 500 thousands MAUs. The app helps users discover new VR content to download. The company has the unique distinction of being the first result in the Google Play store to pop up when you search “VR.”

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Opaque Studios

It’s no secret that green screens play an aggressively major role in modern cinema. Opaque Studios is building a tool that allows visual production studios to visualize layouts and builds in VR, allowing closer communication between directors and technical staff in the production of cinematic content.

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ObEN

ObEN wants to bring you deep into VR with highly personalized virtual reality avatars. The technology allows users to snap a selfie and create a realistic avatar of themselves. The app boasts WeChat integrations that allow you to share what you’re doing in VR to the outside world. While other VR social apps may be able to get away with highlighting fun, cartoon-like VR avatars, ObEN believes that more professional sectors like healthcare will require more human-looking avatars early on.

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Fishbowl VR

For VR developers it can be difficult to see the your product from a new perspective after dedicating so much of your sanity to building it.

Fishbowl VR is an environment for crowd-sourced testing and user insights. Fishbowl has a team of more than 750 testers providing insights to VR startups throughout the development process. The company is already working with Hulu, Jaunt Studios, Limitless VR and others in the virtual reality space.

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Apmetrix

Without analytics, a lot of content creators in the virtual reality industry are really building blindly.

Apmetrix was one of the more established companies to present at the demo day event, the company has been around for several years helping companies like Atari and GM track the efficacy of their advertising efforts on traditional platforms. The company is now looking to mature its virtual reality data analytics efforts. The startup showed off something called an Emoscore that takes a number of biometric indicators to track a test user’s emotional response to content that they’re viewing. The startup has already launched a beta of the service and is looking to grow its partners.

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Immersv

Ads suck, but devs gotta make that money. Immersv was a startup that presented that’s already a little bit more built up than most in the VR startup scene. The advertising platform is aiming to let developers monetize content through in-app advertisements and call-to-actions. The first-to-market solution is utilizing a variety of formats to deliver custom VR content including monoscopic smartphone 360 video, in-headset 360 ads and 2D advertisements delivered in a theater format.

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Metaverse Channel

The Metaverse Channel is an edtech content company aiming to make teaching more immersive through custom lessons with history’s greatest figures. The startup wants students to learn physics through lectures from Einstein and painting through instruction from Picasso.

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BreqLabs

BreqLabs was one of the few hardware startups at the Vive X demo day. The company uses ultrasound technology to track users’ hands accurately in 3D space on mobile headsets. The company is aiming to release a developer kit next year.

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Lumiere

Lumiere is a 360 studio aiming to serve other 360 studios. Like a good deal of the studios in the VR studio space, Lumiere is building camera rigs that are custom to the type of content they’re building. The startup was a bit coy on what exactly this looks like but their website boasts the product is a “robot powered by custom software to make pre-production and shooting processes more flexible and efficient.”

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SurrealVR

SurrealVR is a developer tool that brings social functionality into virtual reality experiences. The company’s cross-platform system offers “avatars, voicechat, networked gameplay, physics, shopping and more.” There are currently 100 thousand users in the Surreal network and the company is looking to continue raising funds.

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Drop

Drop is looking to reimagine the interface of web search for virtual reality. Like a lot of startups plotting the future of web on VR, Drop sees 3D models as a major part of that operating alongside 2D portals to the web.

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Clevr

Clevr is an interface for social interaction that extends across platforms allowing users to stay connected with their friends in virtual reality. The company is currently working on its own dedicated social app as well as an SDK that allows integration into other titles.

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Metaverse Technology

Metaverse Technology is a startup all about bringing guns into VR. In addition to FPS-loving gamers, the company is hoping to get their technology into military and law enforcement training situations. Metaverse Technology is building a V-TAC compatible add-on device that attaches to airsoft guns (or real guns) and brings the devices into VR so users can have more realistic experiences.

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Directive Games

Directive Games is a game developer aiming to improve the experience for online competitive multiplayer games across virtual reality platforms. The startup believes that virtual reality offers one of the most immersive avenues for gaming and that everything is more fun when you’re playing against friends. It’s first titles include a shooter called Super Kaiju (pictured) and a strategy title called The Machines.

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Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is another startup in the VR 3D modeling space, creating a software suite for studios to build immersive experiences. Its image-based rendering engine allows people in fields like architecture, product design, film, visual effects, advertising and marketing to import 3D models and create photorealistic experiences without having to bother with Unity or Unreal.

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LyraVR

LyraVR is a music creation app that gives artists the ability to create music in a much more visual virtual reality environment. Users can create content directly or see experiences built by other VR artists. The company is launching their app next quarter in Steam Early Access and is currently seeking seed funding.

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Teemew

VR is mostly being sold as a place for fun and games, but Teemew is aiming to capitalize on the more professional use cases of VR by attempting to master the virtual reality business meeting. The app brings telepresence into a virtual environments, utilizing avatars and nifty VR business environments with whiteboards and other collaborative features.

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Shortfuse

Shortfuse is a game studio building content for VR arcades in China. The studio’s first-person shooter title, ConvictVR, launched last month and the team is looking to bring the title to some of the nearly 3000 VR arcades in China.

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