In many ways, Singapore is already a major hub of technology innovation. Whether it is the easy access to funding, the various startup incubators or a large number of foreign tech companies setting up shop here, there is a lot to be said about this city-state. Technology needs to innovate constantly, and VR is no exception. So, I firmly believe that Singapore could be the place where we see significant VR innovation.
VR Innovation is already happening
Singapore already has some studios doing interesting things with Virtual Reality. Hiverlab, based in Ang Mo Kio, are experimenting with VR film. Stifled by Gattai Games (already mentioned before) are doing something fascinating with sound and VR. These are just a few examples of some really interesting projects happening in Singapore. However, this is just the beginning, as Virtual Reality is slowly getting broader and more accessible. With more headsets at lower prices, it will be easier not just for people to buy, but for start-ups to get into the game. Having a few to lead the way will only let Singapore get even better at VR innovation.
A strong gaming culture
With a huge proportion of the population being avid gamers, Singapore has a strong gaming culture. Add to that a growing independent game development scene, and you have the perfect market for VR. Add to that Singaporean’s being the most likely in Asia to spend money on gaming, and you have the perfect breeding ground for interest in VR. Yes, VR does have applications outside of gaming, but gaming still has the biggest market share. In the future, this might change, but for now, gaming is where most of the money and good ideas will come from.
Ayer Rajah Crescent
Just mentioning this name should be enough of an argument. For those who don’t know, Ayer Rajah Cresent, and in particular Block 71, is full of tech-start-ups. Everyone from coders, developers and designers rub shoulders in start-up land. Why is this important? Well, a lot of good ideas come from just talking to other people in your field. Call it copying, or just a meeting of like-minded minds, but it is a proven effect. Having all your technology innovators in one location will help communication and only lead to a wider development of VR innovation. Even if it is just down to friendly rivalry.
The International Connection
One definite benefit that Singapore has is its appeal as a place for investment. The stable currency and government mean that outside corporations do love setting up shop here. Ubisoft, Lucasfilm and EON Reality have all set up shop here. What else have these three done? Of course, it’s get involved in Virtual Reality in their own way. Therefore even if local Singaporean companies don’t get too involved in the technology, at least you have the big players getting stuck in. Ubisoft has already launched their VR game Eagle flight, and We’ll learn more about what Eon Reality are doing next week.