At AxonVR, we believe your hand should be your hand, your body should be your body, and virtual objects should feel like real objects. These are simple ideas, and they have broad implications for how we interact with the technology of the Experience Age.
Kent Bye's Voices of VR is the de facto podcast for those interested in the field of virtual and augmented reality. At GDC this year, Jake Rubin, AxonVR's Co-founder and CEO, sat down with Kent to discuss AxonVR's advanced haptics technology. The Voices of VR has hosted an array of thought leaders, including Tom Furness, Nonny de la Peña, and Mel Slater.
We imagine a future in which digital experiences are indistinguishable from real life, enabled by a full-body haptics suit like those popularized in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. That’s why when I watched the game trailers at E3 this year, I couldn’t stop fantasizing about a future of haptics-driven gaming.
I'm pleased to share a major milestone in our vision of delivering realistic touch and creating a world in which virtual reality is indistinguishable from real life. The US Patent and Trademark office recently issued our keystone patent, Whole-Body Human-Computer Interface. This patent enables us to deliver a suite of products which will provide advanced haptic feedback for a wide range of enterprise customers in location-based entertainment, training and simulation, and design and manufacturing.
The AxonVR team is pleased to announce that we’ve completed our Seed Round of funding, raising a total of $5.8M. This is the largest investment round to date for a virtual reality haptics company.
We're even more excited about how we plan to put these funds to work – further developing our HaptX™ Platform. Our engineering team will continue to extend our leadership position in advanced haptic feedback. We'll apply HaptX to new form factors, bringing unprecedented realism to virtual and augmented reality. This funding also enables us to deliver HaptX technology to our first enterprise customers, opening new possibilities in design and manufacturing, training and simulation, and location-based entertainment.
Our team envisions a world where you can’t tell what’s real from what’s virtual. Our HaptX Platform is the foundation for achieving this vision.
If you’d like to know more about partnering with AxonVR, let's get in touch.
You can join our journey by following @AxonVR on Twitter. The future is looking – and feeling – very bright!
You can find the full announcement on Business Wire or read below:
AxonVR secures largest ever funding round for haptics in virtual reality
$5.8M raise will enable realistic touch for virtual and augmented reality markets
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. and SEATTLE, Wash., Dec. 7, 2016 – AxonVR™, the pioneer in advanced haptic technology and creator of the HaptX™ Platform, announced today that it secured $5.8M in a recently-completed seed funding round. This represents the largest investment to date in a virtual reality haptics company. The round was led by NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES), a leading internet technology company in China, and Dawn Patrol Ventures, and includes former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
“Touch is one of the most fundamental ways we connect with the physical world,” said Bill Pang, Vice President of Corporate Development at NetEase. “AxonVR’s HatpX Platform brings realistic touch to digital experiences, transforming the way we design, play, and interact.”
“We envision a world in which virtual experiences are indistinguishable from real life,” said Jake Rubin, Founder and CEO of AxonVR. “This funding enables us to deliver HaptX technology to our first enterprise partners. It’s a big step towards achieving our vision.”
HaptX is a haptic textile that simulates lifelike touch, allowing users to feel the physical properties of virtual objects. HaptX can bring the sense of touch to any surface. The lightweight, flexible material can be applied to wearables and other form factors. HaptX technology has broad enterprise uses in location-based entertainment, training and simulation, and design and manufacturing.
“HaptX delivers very realistic touch sensations, and will enable a new class of experiences in VR,” said Zvi Greenstein, General Manager of Consumer VR at NVIDIA Corporation. “It’s a great example of how our physics engine, NVIDIA PhysX, can be used to enable physically simulated touch sensations to deliver realism in VR.”
Additional participants in AxonVR’s seed round included The Virtual Reality Company, Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering Jon Snoddy, Keeler Investment Group, and Digital Kitchen Founder and Chairman Paul Matthaeus. These investments add to a $1.2M friends and family round completed in 2014, bringing AxonVR’s total funding to $7M.
Industry Applications for AxonVR’s HaptX Technology
Examples of industries that will benefit from haptic technology in VR and AR include design and manufacturing, training and simulation, and location-based entertainment.
Design and manufacturing: Virtual reality provides CAD/CAM users with a compelling new medium for 3D content creation. Today, designers and engineers can't physically interact with a product until after they build a prototype. With HaptX, designers can feel the 3D models they create throughout the product design process. HaptX enables professionals to swiftly prototype concepts, experiencing each with unprecedented realism. AxonVR’s HaptX technology will transform the design and manufacturing process by combining the precision of CAD software with the hands-on intimacy of sculpting clay.
Training and simulation: AxonVR offers a platform for realistic training and simulation for defense, industrial, and medical applications. HaptX technology enables a new level of authenticity, safety, and cost effectiveness for combat, surgical and workforce training.
Founded in 2012 by CEO Jake Rubin and Lead Engineer Dr. Robert Crockett, AxonVR brings virtual worlds to life through the power of realistic touch. AxonVR is a team of engineers, designers, and storytellers based in Seattle, WA (headquarters) and San Luis Obispo, CA. For more information, please visit AxonVR.com or connect with us at:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/axonvr
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AxonVR/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/axon-vr
- Partners: http://axonvr.com/partners
Greg Bilsland, Sr. Communications Manager
AxonVR's HaptX technology delivers the most realistic touch sensations in the world, and I'm one of the lucky few who gets to share it with people.
In my last three posts, we discussed tactile feedback, vibrotactile (vibration) feedback, and thermal feedback. This time, may the force be with you as we dive into force feedback.
In my last two posts, we dissected tactile feedback and vibrotactile (vibration) feedback. This time, things are heating up (and cooling down), as we dive into thermal feedback.
Most of us understand that thermal feedback is what lets you know that an ice cube is cold and a flame is warm; however, thermal feedback is more than just temperature.
You don’t have to look very far to find a VR MeetUp Group, industry conference, or, if you’re in China, a VR Café. It’s safe to say that the wave one of VR has arrived. It’s a huge, north-shore-of-Maui-sized wave, and we’ll be enjoying the ride for a long time.
In a previous post, I described how haptics can be divided into a series of “sensory channels” — tactile, vibrotactile, force, and thermal. I focused on tactile feedback in that post. This time, let’s move on to vibrotactile (vibration) feedback.
Six months ago, most people would have had to look up the word haptics. Now, it seems to be on everyone's lips in the world of VR and AR. The definition of the word “haptics” is straightforward: technology that interfaces with a user through their sense of touch. But what does "haptics" really mean?
Seattle was the center of the VR universe this week, with IMMERSE and Steam Dev Days taking place back to back. The AxonVR team joined thousands of leaders, developers, and enthusiasts – some of whom traveled internationally – to dive into immersive technologies, and discuss the future of our industry.
Bob Berry of Envelop VR kicked off IMMERSE by celebrating our community. In terms of our population, Seattle is punching well above its weight in its impact on VR. “As a region well-used to disruptive technologies, we are the people actually creating this multi-billion-dollar industry,” said Berry.