For advancing practical uses of AR
Snap, which was also on last year’s Most Innovative Companies list, continues to inculcate hundreds of millions of people into the potential of augmented reality, bit by bit rather than all at once.
For creating an “Omniverse” for developers
While tech companies talked about consumer experiences in the metaverse, Nvidia was developing the technology needed to actually build it.
For allowing AR to bloom
Niantic has a very different view of the metaverse–one that is intermingled with the natural world.
Niantic, of course, pioneered AR gaming with its innovative Pokémon Go, which encouraged players to go outside and capture Pokémon hidden within the real world.
For adding a new layer to remote assistance service calls
SightCall’s augmented reality tool lets customer service reps offer real-time video assistance–with overlaid digital graphics–to faraway customers.
Customers point their cameras at problem areas, then SightCall uses AR and artificial intelligence to guide them through the steps needed to solve their problem.
For using VR to manage pain
With its innovative EaseVRx device, digital therapeutics startup AppliedVR has developed a series of two- to 16-minute virtual reality experiences that help people with chronic lower back problems deal with pain. T
For annotating indoor spaces
Google Maps now lets you see augmented reality place markers and directions through your phone to help you navigate complex indoor environments, such as labyrinthine subway stations, airports, and shopping malls.
For making a giant tech leap toward miniaturizing smart glasses
The small Menlo Park, California-based component supplier Avegant, may have cleared one important hurdle by miniaturizing the light engines that produce digital imagery within the lenses of AR glasses
For creating a VR headset immersive enough for enterprise use
HTC gave the headset a unique active cooling system (a fan), which allows it to push the processor hard enough to create more compelling and immersive augmented reality content.
For letting viewers unlock new ways to experience VR in film
The virtual reality production studio 3dar has become known for pushing the boundaries of VR as a storytelling tool.
In 2021, it followed up its impressive Gloomy Eyes short, which won best VR piece at South by Southwest in 2019, with an even more groundbreaking animated piece called Paper Birds.
For taking the VR gaming throne with Demeo
Resolution Games bet on virtual reality gaming earlier than most developers. In May, the Swedish company released its most innovative and compelling game yet, Demeo.
Though Resolution Games could have easily used VR to make Demeo an action role-playing game, it chose the slower pace of a board game genre that recalls physical games like Dungeons & Dragons.