The ability to transport yourself to a distant location and experience new and thrilling sights from the comfort of your own home has exploded since bursting onto the global scene back in 2014. Yes, virtual reality has become one of the most revolutionary innovations in the past decade, presenting numerous opportunities to small and medium sized businesses as well as startups, to level the playing field and bring something new to audiences around the world. This digital technology is changing how people live, work, and play in the UAE, enabling a new entrepreneurial landscape to emerge. Several entrepreneurs within the UAE have already made their mark on this VR market, providing VR catered experiences for businesses, mental health applications, and even digital solutions for top brands like Mercedes-Benz and Canon.
6 VR Businesses That Started In This New Entrepreneurial Landscape
- Giga Works. Karim Saad, a Lebanese entrepreneur, decided to bring his passion for virtual reality filmmaking to life by establishing Giga Works. While he funded the company entirely on his own, he used virtual reality experiences that incorporate storytelling to get it to truly take off. One of his first projects was for Rainbow MIlk, a dairy corporation, in which he transported their clients to a dairy farm as part of a marketing endeavor for the company. Now, Giga Works is engaged in numerous marketing projects for clients across the Middle East. The company is best known for its Dubai Skiing Experience, which is a 360-degree VR program that allows customers to experience the indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai.
- Pixelbug. This company has quite an extensive portfolio, working for some of the largest companies in the world. Pixelbug offers virtual branding materials to clients who want to boost their audience engagement. Clients of Pixelbug include Samsung Gear and Oculus RIFT. They also have their own AR application called ColorBug which allows children to play with coloring books in a whole new way.
- TakeLeap. This company has more than 200 clients across numerous industries, bringing user-driven VR experiences of all kinds to clients. From creating virtual spaces that allow homebuyers to see and experience different properties in the real estate market, to transforming employee user training for workplace environments that have dangerous occupations. Workers can still get first-hand experience within a 3D virtual world.
- Sfearia. This business is all about using therapeutic VR experiences to help individuals face their mental health challenges head on. As of right now, the VR application helps individuals who suffer from claustrophobia by pairing fear exposure with relaxation techniques. The application can be used in your own home which helps fight social stigma, helps customers save money, and allows them to embark on their journey of improvement at their own pace.
- BSocial. This company connects brands through customized digital solutions and has had some of the most prominent clients in the world, including Mercedes-Benz and Canon. They were one of the first Arab developers to create virtual applications for Oculus devices, and even created a virtual platform to allow users to experience the sights of Mecca through Experience Mecca, a VR application. Within the first year, the Experience Mecca application had over 165,000 downloads.
- Kiyany. This startup brings immersive storytelling to a whole new level for communities across the globe. While it is best known for its interactive visual media projects, the company has worked on a wide range of virtual reality projects as well and is focused on developing 360-degree VR content. The most notable work is Flash, the first ever VR short film created in the UAE.
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