Press Release: AxonVR secures largest ever funding round for haptics in virtual reality

Comment

Press Release: AxonVR secures largest ever funding round for haptics in virtual reality

Mark Kroese

President of AxonVR


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.

About AxonVR

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:  

Contacts

Kristin Fontanilla, Porter Novelli for AxonVR

kristin.fontanilla@porternovelli.com

Andrew Mitrak, AxonVR   

andrew@axonvr.com  


Comment

You've seen VR. Now watch people touch it.

Comment

You've seen VR. Now watch people touch it.

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. 

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 4: force feedback

1 Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 4: force feedback

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.

1 Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 3: thermal feedback

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 3: thermal 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. 

Comment

The next wave of virtual reality

Comment

The next wave of virtual reality

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.

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 2: vibrotactile (vibration) feedback

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 2: vibrotactile (vibration) feedback

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.

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 1: tactile feedback

Comment

What is haptics, really? Part 1: tactile 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?

Comment

Three VR trends from IMMERSE and Steam Dev Days

Comment

Three VR trends from IMMERSE and Steam Dev Days

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. 

Comment

Pokémon GO and the Future of AR

Comment

Pokémon GO and the Future of AR

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) mobile app that launched July 6. A staggering 7.5 million people downloaded it in its first week. Nintendo, Pokémon’s parent company, earns an estimated $1.6 million per day through in-app purchases alone. Pokémon GO is invading social media with Facebook groups, Meetup events, and SubReddits. Visit your local park, and I’m sure you’ll see a handful of GO players who gotta catch 'em all.

Comment

A Beginner’s Guide to Everything VR

Comment

A Beginner’s Guide to Everything VR

Virtual reality can intimidate newcomers. It’s advanced technology, and there are new announcements every day. The internet has mountains of information on VR, but it’s difficult to know where to start.

Comment

Physical /\ Digital Collision Course

Comment

Physical /\ Digital Collision Course

We live in a time where the separation between our physical and digital worlds seems obvious: digital is software running locally or in a mystical cloud, and physical is something you can touch. Those worlds, however, are on a collision course, fueled by the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality.

In the very near future, you’ll be able to touch digital objects and program physical environments.

Comment

Virtually Better Healthcare

Comment

Virtually Better Healthcare

I used to think VR was just for gaming – something I don’t know much about. Then I was presented with an opportunity to invest in AxonVR. As I did my due diligence, it became clear that what AxonVR is working on will improve healthcare – something I am, unfortunately, very familiar with.

Comment