“AR is big and profound,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook told investors earlier in August 2017. “And this is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it.”

 

The Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) spaces are heating up – a few months back both Apple and Google announced their own projects to help developers create VR and AR experiences inside their ecosystems. ARKit and ARCore are an exciting advancement for consumers all over the world –  through them, we will all be able to enjoy the newest innovations in AR/VR using just our smartphones.

Until now, the majority of VR content has only been viewable with headsets and the only popular AR application for phones has been Pokémon Go, this, however, is all about to change. The jump these two tech giants are about to take signals that we are entering a new era. And old and new players need to be ready for what’s to come.

VR and AR technology are transforming our daily lives as well as operational and functional aspects of almost any industry vertical, and GTEC together with VR First want to be at the forefront of propelling the adoption of both technologies in universities, corporations, and startups both across Europe and around the world.

So far, VR First is connected with over 600 universities and 100.000 developers worldwide and have made considerable progress through the VR First Lab Initiative, with over 40 labs operating in the US, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

Another next step for VR First has been to set up one of its Labs in the GTEC Frankfurt Campus, where visitors are able to experiment with the latest developments in this field. In addition, VR First together with GTEC will be very soon organising local events and activities promoting VR and AR both in Frankfurt and Berlin. All in all, the aim of this partnership is to co-create an open innovation hub in the heart of Frankfurt.

In the words of Ferhan Ozkan, CEO of VR First: “The cooperation between GTEC and VR First unlocks new and exciting opportunities to facilitate, empower and attract start-ups and major hardware manufacturers to innovate with VR/AR – developing Frankfurt into one of the strongest tech hubs in Europe.”

Benjamin Rohé, Founder of GTEC, adds: “Together with VR First we are taking one step towards putting Frankfurt on the map globally as a tech hub and a city of opportunities. We are excited to team up with the leading ecosystem around these new technologies and opportunities”.

GTEC’s Frankfurt Hub Manager and Event & Education Director, Robin Weninger, clarified some of the deeper importance of this partnership for both the city and the startup ecosystem: “After launching our GTEC Hub in Frankfurt we are now slowly starting to realise the potential of the city around entrepreneurs, bright mindset and leading technologies  – Frankfurt is a city of opportunities, they just need to be facilitated and brought together. Who would have thought we would find a globally leading initiative around augmented and virtual reality right in the heart of Frankfurt? We are happy that we through GTEC can provide the ecosystem leading to VR First not moving out to cities such as Tel Aviv or Amsterdam or to Silicon Valley but staying in Frankfurt and from here building the solutions of tomorrow”.

Due to the combined knowledge of both partners in the fields of VR and AR, as well as the combined size of the mentors’ network linked to both institutions, there’s also the hope to reach and attract even more global startups working in VR / AR related products and services. Additionally, this is an opportunity for GTEC’s academic and corporate partners to broaden their opportunities in the new field opening up to them through our upcoming events and workshops.

And as attendees to the Startup Safary in Frankfurt could see, the partnership is up and running. Here’s Rahel Demant, COO of VR First, giving her pitch to Finn Thormeier, one of the attendees!

To learn more about VR First, check this infographic!