VRARA Sees 500% Growth By Connecting the VR AR Industry

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We’ve seen the future: Holograms, avatars and sci-fi like gesture based interfaces are all poised to trigger a real feeling. How you work, shop, and play are all being transformed by VR and AR. With technology hubs around the world now supporting VR/AR seemingly en masse, the way we communicate and consume data is migrating towards VR/AR. Who wouldn’t want an easier more fun way to do your daily tasks.

For enterprise and education, this not only means assimilating new information but also facilitating this information for your organizational needs. Being able to adopt the technology and smartly execute it will separate the winners from everybody else. Retailers who are contextually relevant will swipe up for sales, while enterprise companies that leverage VR/AR and AI will markedly bolster their offerings. So how do I get started, what can my company do now to stay current with the technology? The VR/AR Association (VRARA) provides training, creates industry standards, and most importantly connects companies, brands and developers.


VRARA is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. With 500% year-over-year growth, the VRARA has approx 4000 companies, brands, and developers registered — you get access to the largest ecosystem in the industry. Likewise, with constantly evolving technology in the ecosystem; the VRARA Industry Committee’s are helping define and solidify standards and best practices across multiple verticals.

Continuing with growth trajectory of the industry and requests of the member base, VRARA recently announced its hosting the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver, taking place September 21-22, 2018. With VRARA’s industry events, conferences, and symposiums; the organization helps with providing an exclusive platform to spotlight visibility on players in the space and new developments for future growth.

Schell Games, Dwayne Waite, agrees, “Joining the VRARA supports our emphasis of maintaining the studio’s VR/AR momentum and we believe that joining the VRARA will increase the studio’s visibility as a primary player in the VR/AR environment.”

“As a leading manufacturer of AR smart glasses, we want to be deeply involved in VR/AR socialization and education across industries and verticals, which the VRARA facilitates through speaking engagements, conferences, and other events and activities.” Leon Laroue, Epson

VRARA has managed to gather the key players in the space, to foster collaboration and make sure the important discussions which need to happen to push the ecosystem forward are indeed happening.” Alban Denoyel Co-founder & CEO, at Sketchfab

“VRARA is a wonderful organization with a clear mission. We believe there are a lot of standards that still need to be developed in order to help increase adoption of VR AR technology. That’s one of the main reasons we joined VRARA; By being a part of these conversations and helping build these standards, Overstock can continue to give customers the best possible shopping experience.” Amit Goyal, SVP at Overstock   

Become a Member by March 30 and get 10% discount on Membership. Mention code “Discount10”. Apply here

VRARA member BioInteractive Technologies joins Techstars 2018


Vancouver, BC Canada - International startup accelerator Techstars announced today that Vancouver technology company, BioInteractive Technologies (BIT), has been accepted into their preeminent international new Techstars Anywhere program, where less than 1% of applicants were accepted.

Vancouver has long been known as “Silicon Valley North”. In 2017 Vancouver started seeing a rise of accelerators taking note of the Vancouver tech industry, attending such local events like Vancouver Startup Week where BIT’s founders first met with Techstars.

BioInteractive Technologies (BIT), provides a seamless and intuitive platform for a gesture-recognition wearable called TENZR. "Ubiquitous spatial computing Spatial computing (Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality) is upon us and we need to expand beyond the hand-held controller, like mouse, keyboard, voice control and camera-tracking systems to include unconstrained gesture recognition!" Says BIT’s CEO, Lukas-Karim Merhi “We are humbled and honoured by Techstar’s acceptance and can’t wait to have access to their network of amazing founders, mentors, and investors. This will allow our company to achieve our vision to become the leading wearable in gesture recognition, and the de-facto controller of the next decade” says Merhi.


Merhi also notes that without the help of the Vancouver VRAR Association's Director Tony Bevilacqua and President Dan Burgar, who connected Merhi to Techstars, he would have missed out on the opportunity to apply to their accelerator program altogether. 

Techstars Anywhere is a relatively new program, now in its second year of operations. Historically Techstars founders were relocated to the US for their intense coveted program. However, newly formed virtual based Techstars Anywhere now brings the power of the Techstars network to the founders #Anywhere. Founders follow the proven Techstars approach to accelerate their business & #domorefaster. Techstars has made an investment in capital, time & network with biointeractivetech.com.


BIT has been in operation since 2015 and is led by Lukas-Karim Merhi (CEO), Gautam Sadarangani (CTO) and Jose Fernandez Villasenor (COO), and currently has a team of 8. BIT has developed TENZR, an accurate, calibration-free, hands-free, camera-free, wrist-worn gesture recognition controller compatible with any Bluetooth enabled devices.

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. www.techstars.com

For more information on either company, please contact:

Lukas-Karim Merhi, CEO of BioInteractive Technologies lukaskarim@biointeractivetech.com, 778-883-6443

Joanie Kindblade, Techstars Media, joanie.kindblade@techstars.com

theDirectory - The Most Comprehensive Searchable Database for VR AR MR Companies

NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The VR/AR Association (VRARA) launched theDirectory today, the most comprehensive database of solution providers in VR and AR, globally. Members of VRARA get access to this database allowing them to quickly and easily find solution providers or partners based on categories, qualifications, geography and more. theDirectory has over 1,000 companies in the system that are searchable by company name, category, location, and comprehensive search tags. For example, if you're a company looking to solve a 360 audio software stitching challenge, as a member of VRARA, you go to thedirectory.thevrara.com and search "360 audio", and you'll see a list of several companies globally sorted by category and city. You'll see their contact information and other important information on the company, making it easy to evaluate and get in contact.

"The launch of theDirectory helps fulfill our mission at the VR/AR Association of making it easier to connect, grow and gain knowledge in the VR and AR ecosystem at global scale," said Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder & President of the VR/AR Association.

"With nearly 300 new companies per month entering the VR and AR ecosystem over the last year, it has become a major challenge for brands and companies to know who is in the ecosystem, where they are located, and what they do, said Kris Kolo, Global Executive Director of the VRARA. "Our team at VRARA will be working everyday to build upon theDirectory to help connect our members at a global scale."

Companies wanting to make sure they're included in theDirectory can submit their information for validation here: thedirectory.thevrara.com

About the VR/AR Association

The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is the global industry association for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality, connecting leading solution providers with brands and customers. VRARA accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies.

Media Contact: Kris Kolo, The VR AR Association, 6506905361, kris@thevrara.com

The VR/AR Association Debuts World's First Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality News Show

Watch latest episode here

NEW YORK - Oct. 27, 2016 - The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is pleased to announce the debut of its VR/AR News & Entertainment Show on YouTube. The show is the first of its kind, covering the latest trends in the virtual reality and augmented reality industry worldwide.

The VR/AR Association is an international organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of VR/AR technologies and uniting the community of members of this emerging community. Member organizations include Samsung, USA TODAY NETWORK, Orange S.A., Mativision, SpaceoutVR, among others. VRARA has chapters in over 14 cities across the globe and is quickly expanding.

"VR and AR are becoming increasingly more important in today's world economy and our organization is at the forefront of these new technologies," said Kris Kolo, Global Executive Director of VRARA. "That's why after shooting several episodes in NYC and receiving tremendous feedback from our community, we are ready to launch the show globally and bring it into the mainstream."

The show covers the latest news in the VR & AR world, from tech announcements made by companies in the VR space like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook Oculus, to the latest trends in VR & AR content, all in an effort to see how this increasingly popular interface impacts the tech world and culture.

The show can be viewed on the VRARA website (here) or on the VR/AR Association YouTube channel. New episodes will be posted weekly.

VR/AR Association Makes Its Los Angeles Debut With “Music + TV + Film = VR” Symposium with a Who’s Who in VR/AR One-Day Extravaganza

RSVP here

“Mobile entertainment veteran Mike Johns named President of Los Angeles Chapter”

Los Angeles, California – November 1, 2016 / The VR/AR Association, the global trade association for virtual reality and augmented reality announced its official launch in Los Angeles, CA today. The Association has named Mike Johns, noted mobile entertainment veteran and Founder of Digital Mind State as the LA chapter president to draw new members, create member value, develop best practices, and guidelines. 

Early bird registration is now open as the VR/AR Association presents “Music + TV + FILM = VR” Symposium, The largest and most influential gathering of premiere VR/AR professionals and Music Industry executives, taking placeSaturday November 19, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the beautiful Expert Dojo in Santa Monica.  Confirmed Speakers include:

·         Stephen Prendergast, Founder – Turnstile

·         Facundo Diaz, CEO – VRTFY

·         Brooks Brandon – Starbreeze/IMAX

·         John Canning – Producer Guild of America

·         Keith Clinkscales, former CEO – Revolt TV

·         Timmu Tõke, CEO – Wolfprint 3D, 

·         Eric Wexel, Founder – MyFreewebcam

·         Logan Olson, Founder – Soundstage VR

 Kevin Cornish, Founder, Moth+Flame VR

Rounding out our esteemed list of speakers is the infamous self-elected First President of VR, visionary entrepreneur Jon “NEVERDIE” Jacobs, who will keynote “VR the New Flat Screen TV." "The hype around VR in the entertainment industry encompasses emerging music, TV, film and technology to both enhance the consumer experience and further propel the entertainment business on the path of innovation and prosperity," says Johns. "Our goal is to be at the forefront, unify by establishing overall best practices for a nascent industry." Music + TV + Film =VR symposium aims to inspire, educate and create necessary dialogue. Attendees will also be able to test out cutting-edge hardware through hands-on demonstrations. The event is free to VR/AR Association members, $100 for non-members. 

SPACE IS LIMITED so be sure to sign up RIGHT AWAY! Industry professionals are encouraged to register early for “Music + TV + Film = VR”. Early Bird pricing is available through November 15th. 

More details and registration can be found here


Early Bird Rates: 

VR/AR Members - Free

Early Bird - $99

Door - $199



Founded in 2015, The VR/AR Association is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies.  VR/AR Association will continue to bring the latest technologies, products and strategies for professionals in the VR Entertainment space.



VR/AR Association Amsterdam President launches Global WebVR Hackathon

The WebVR community gets some long-waited relief on November 1st in the form of a global hackathon run completely online and for the longest period ever, 90 days. The platform, Virtuleap, is co-organized by the Amsterdam Chapter President of the VR/AR Association, Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, and is devoted to championing the WebVR cause by providing the community with the resources it sorely needs at this stage in the industry.

Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google are some of the technology partners alongside ecosystem partners like VRBASE, VR First, Force Field VR, and of course the VR/AR Association. The lead media partner, Upload, yesterday published the initial announcement of the hackathon, which has already stirred the grassroots community to prepare for the upcoming WebVR extravaganza. Student groups at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the Entertainment & Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, are all officially participating in the hackathon.

StartupAmsterdam, the government arm that is tasked with developing and enriching the startup tech community in the Dutch capital, is sponsoring the event and, as such, the prizes both themed to the city and include flying out winning teams to Amsterdam in April 2017. The top prize is a slot in VRBASE's accelerator program, which happens to be the first of its kind in Europe, which runs for 6-months and includes a cash prize of €30,000 (euros). The second prize is a 3-month internship program with Force Field VR, the second biggest VR studio in Europe and formerly known as Vanguard Games.

For more info, email Amir here

New Zealand VR/AR Association Launch

The New Zealand VR/AR Association has just been created by a number of top Kiwi innovators.

It has also secured the rights as New Zealand’s chapter of the global VR/AR Association, with chapters in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Asia.

The association aims to accelerate growth, foster research and education, develop industry standards, connect member organizations and promote services of member companies.

Members of the foundation include Wellington-based holographic VR/AR technology company 8i, Massey and Victoria Universities, along with a number of emerging New Zealand companies, such as Auckland-based Imersia and recently opened Christchurch HTC room-scale virtual reality experience space, The VR Room.

Jessica Manins, executive director for the New Zealand VR/AR Association, says they’re all amazed at the potential of this emergent industry, which is predicted to be worth NZ$205 billion globally in five years.

“Spring-boarding off the game and entertainment industry could see the sector rivalling wine as a NZ$2.5 billon export industry for New Zealand within a decade,” she says.

The association will represent and promote New Zealand’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors nationally and internationally, and will launch its first event in mid-October.

“It’s vital that we connect nationally and build a robust platform for collective offshore representation. Being connected to the rapidly expanding global VR/AR Association is a great springboard to the US and other markets,” explains Manins.

Global VR/AR Association president Nathan Pettyjohn says he is thrilled to see the launch of the New Zealand VR/AR Association and is excited to have the organization join the VR/AR Association.

“The global connectivity created by the two organizations working together will help accelerate efficient growth and knowledge-sharing for companies across the world, and will help the world to tap into the innovation taking place in New Zealand.”

VR/AR Association Appoints Kris Kolo as the Global Executive Director

New York, NY, October 17, 2016 - The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is pleased to announce Kris Kolo as the Global Executive Director for the industry’s marketing association.

The VR/AR Association is dedicated to accelerating the growth of the virtual reality and augmented reality industry. Members include USA Today Network, NYU, GoPro and Samsung, among others.

“It's with great excitement that I announce that Kris Kolo has been appointed as the Global Executive Director,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder and President of VRARA. Kris has been running the NYC Chapter and will continue to do so to maintain a first-hand approach to the VR/AR Association.

Kris will be responsible for overseeing the association's member growth strategy, as well as setting up a new media presence that will consist of a YouTube News Channel, a sponsorship program, and ensuring that their Chapter Presidents have all the tools they need to grow, along with making decisions on Chapter President roles and responsibilities.

“We're going to experience a new level of growth and industry thought leadership as an organization and I couldn't be happier to have Kris in this role. He's proven to be a great Chapter leader,” added Pettyjohn.

“The market is accelerating in growth and it’s maturing. I look forward to the continued global growth of the association by helping member companies grow efficiently, facilitate knowledge sharing and connect at a global level and across verticals,” said Kris.

Kris first looked into AR in 2000 when he was a grad student at MIT, where MIT was working with car makers on windshields with AR. Since then, Kris was an Advisor, Board Member, to FlyBy Media, an AR tech startup acquired by Apple. In addition, Kris was an executive at Toys R Us and Verizon. At Toys R Us, Kris was working on digital in-store initiatives and shopping solutions including using AR with product image recognition with Metaio, a German company acquired by Apple. At Verizon, Kris was responsible for Media, Entertainment, and Location-Based apps & platforms; and he was collaborating with Wikitude to integrate AR into Verizon's GPS Navigation.

For more information please visit www.thevrara.com

About the VR/AR Association

The VR/AR Association (The VRARA) is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem. The VRARA will accelerate growth, foster research and education and help develop industry standards. Member organizations are promoted and integrated into all marketing initiatives in some form of participation and benefit highly from the global expansion the VRARA offers as a platform with reach of over 5 million via network, partnerships and marketing channels.

Amsterdam presents VR Days Europe on Nov 3-5

For the second year running, Amsterdam's VR Days Europe presents four-days filled with the latest VR trends and hardware, inspiring keynotes, content creation and all varieties of demos to experience. Locations this year include the striking VondelCS building in Amsterdam’s beautiful Vondelpark, the Stadsschouwburg in the city centre and the city’s newly opened VRBase, the co-working space for VR companies that has now expanded as Europe's first VR accelerator and incubator. 

VR Days is the place where creators meet creators. Where they connect in a relaxed setting. Where they meet the people who they know are out there. To shake hands, look each other in the eyes and become professional friends. Where developers from all shapes and sizes, from software to hardware, from nerd to creative director meet to forge relationships so they can develop more easily, quicker, and co-create richer, with more tools and more knowledge. 

Albert 'Skip' Rizzo will be speaking during this year's event. He will talk about the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation and resilience. This work spans the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations.

Another speaker is Dana-Maria Faneker, the the first coach in the Netherlands who is working with Virtual Reality. She has won the Samsung VR Challenge for the best VR idea in the Netherlands. That means that Samsung is going to help her to launch this idea first as a pilot in the Netherlands and then, fingers crossed, worldwide! The idea is called: "Fear or Love!” Along with her start-up, coined ”CaptainVR”, she plans on developing VR applications and train coaches, trainers, therapists and psychologists to work with this technology, so they can help people to get rid of all their fears and realize their goals and dreams. 

And of course there are many more interesting speakers. Check out www.vrdays.co to learn more.

USA TODAY NETWORK Joins the VR/AR Association

Now a member of the VRARA, the NETWORK is further committed to engaging the VR community.



The USA TODAY NETWORK has proudly joined the VR/AR Association (The VRARA) as part of the organization’s long-term commitment to build a deeper connection and further engage with the VR and AR community. The VR/AR Association is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies.

“The VR/AR Association is excited to welcome the USA TODAY NETWORK as a member. Both of our organizations are dedicated to accelerating the growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality industry. As a member, the USA TODAY NETWORK will participate in the Association's initiatives and together with the community will accelerate the development and consumption of VR content." says Kris Kolo, President, VR/AR Association, NYC.

Being one of the first major publishers to experiment with storytelling using virtual reality, the NETWORK has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to marrying technology with premium journalism, and has made major strides in producing award-winning VR content both editorially and for brands.

“As a network comprised of 109 local news properties as well as our flagship national brand USA TODAY, we are dedicated to creating high quality virtual reality content and deeply immersive experiences for our audiences,” says Niko Chauls, director of emerging technology at the USA TODAY NETWORK,

“However, we are all responsible for building a VR audience ecosystem and working together to drive mass adoption.  Partnering with an organization such as the VR/AR Association, a thought leader in the industry with deep roots in the VR and AR communities, helps us accomplish that goal. Our membership will allow us to create, collaborate and pioneer new media together and I’m thrilled to explore the great unknown.”

Learn more about USA TODAY NETWORK products, projects, and initiatives related to VR here

VRARA at AWE Asia - Biggest Augmented Reality Show

The Augmented World Expo (AWE) is the largest show for AR. Kris Kolo was invited to speak at the event and establish relationships with China and Chinese companies.  There are over 1000 companies in Asia doing AR, VR, smartglasses, etc. This event was a sample of that. I was really impressed with next-generation HDM's with gaze-activated object recognition with stereoscopic optics, IR LED, EOG Electrodes for wink detection, OR processor, AR 3D shapes, etc. Talk about an "eye mouse" and next-gen interfaces using your eyes! 

While at the show Snapchat or Snap made an announcement in the US about their Spectacles.  There is a lot of tech in Asia that can make anyone's sunglasses smart. Contact kris@thevrara.com for more info!   


Envision - An Evening of Connection

Thank you to the event sponsors BrickVR and SpaceoutVR

‘Awesome,’... followed by smiling and laughter, as the attendee was immersed via the VR headset into another world. Excitement was the sentiment expressed by people who came and participated in our Envision Entertainment VR/ AR Event at Microsoft Technology Center last night. As an introduction to the brands and agencies that need more content in VR and AR; our goal was to start the conversation on how to integrate more VR/ AR experiences into production, marketing planning, and budgets.

SpaceoutVR talked about music as one of their driving experiences, BrickVR showcased their Firefly Concert Series to bring out emotional engagement, and Firstborn Digital Studio displayed their talent for action packed media play for sports brands. They also discussed the evolution of an earned media channel through their work with Mt. Dew.

Keeping in line with the theme shared by fellow speakers, KonceptVR told a story of how they partnered with space programs to create a ‘transformative’ connection with the viewer in their upper stratosphere space vision project.

Likewise, abstract color images set the scene as VirtualizeVR, David Mullett, delivered his nuanced rhythmic presentation of a work titled ‘a flash of color,’ which was used to hypnotize the user. Studio Transcendent described the narrative journey, and Total Cinema 360, Director Adrian Vasquez de Velasco authentically expressed his passion for original creative content.

The evening was wrapped up perfectly by TwoGoats Experiential Marketing Agency, Rich Cummings’, very accessible zeal while going over brand marketing and business in the VR space.

All in all a great success! Look forward to more.