Meet the local start-ups cashing in on the augmented and virtual reality wave
Ang Chong Lai has two great loves: technology and art. He is marrying the two in the areas of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). His company, Rock Nano, started out building hologram dinosaurs for M1. The local telco had sponsored a touring exhibition called Walking with Dinosaurs at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 2010. In 2013, Rock Nano created a VR rig for Keppel Corp that was used in a triple rig naming ceremony two years later.
Demand for Rock Nano’s services, Ang says, has been growing rapidly in the last couple of years. In 2016, in particular, VR and AR technologies gained ground, thanks to companies such as Niantic and Audi. The former is behind hit mobile game Pokémon GO, which requires players to walk around in order to catch the fictional creatures. The latter is building VR showrooms around the world that allow visitors to customise a car on an iPad, then put on a VR headset to walk around the car, open its doors and sit inside.