In today’s COVID-19 world, both human connection and personal distance are essential day-to-day requirements to keep our economies alive and populations safe.

There’s very little we can say for certain, but the way we connect and communicate has likely changed forever. Real-time collaboration through virtual meetings, classes and events have become the norm as people connect from the comfort of their own homes.

This new reality makes the timing of a new study into B.C.’s VR and AR industry ideal.

The first-of-its-kind comprehensive study prepared by the Vancouver VR/AR Association is titled REALITY CHECK: The State of Vancouver and BC’s VR/AR Ecosystem.

Commissioned by the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), REALITY CHECK provides a deeper understanding of the VR/AR ecosystem across jobs, revenue, talent and investment.

“Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies can help defy distance and bring us closer together,” said Dan Burgar, Co-President of the Vancouver VR/AR Association. “Real-time collaboration through telepresence, virtual tourism, virtual classes and virtual events are just small samples of how VR/AR technologies can connect people in the comfort of their own homes.”

According to the study, Vancouver is recognized as a world-leader in VR/AR with more than 230 immersive technology companies in 2019.

On average Vancouver’s VR/AR companies employ an average of 25 full-time employees per company, 18 of whom are highly qualified STEM hires.

The challenges and opportunities identified will be used to inform the public, the VR/AR community and the federal and provincial governments.

Check out the rest of the study’s key findings here.