10 VR Companies to Know About in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore the types of industries that use virtual reality (VR) and discover 10 VR companies you should know about in 2024. Then, find out how you can learn more about virtual reality and experiment with different applications.

[Featured Image] Two colleagues at a VR company test new technology.

Virtual reality has revolutionized how we play, learn, relax, shop, work, and live. Although the term "virtual reality" may evoke mega brand names like Apple, Google, Meta, or Microsoft, various other companies also offer important VR products and services to individuals and businesses. This guide explores 10 of these VR companies, but first, learn precisely what virtual reality is and what types of industries use it.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality refers to an alternate world generated through computer simulation. To experience VR, you'll need to access a computer or smartphone app or put on a headset with a built-in processor. A VR experience may also require wearable equipment with sensors, such as a vest, a suit, or a pair of gloves. 

When designing VR, creators take many factors into account. These typically include:

  • Believability: How real and lifelike the virtual world is

  • Comfort: How comfortable the user feels in the virtual environment

  • Immersion: The level of involvement the user has with the virtual experience

  • Intuitiveness: How the virtual environment responds to user interaction

  • User control: How in control the user feels in the virtual environment

  • User safety: How safe a user feels in the virtual environment

What kinds of industries use VR?

While once associated with gaming and social media, VR technology now plays an important role in various industries. Types of industries that currently use VR include:

  • Construction

  • E-commerce

  • Education

  • Engineering

  • Furniture design

  • Entertainment

  • Health care

  • Marketing

  • Real estate

  • Wellness

10 top VR companies and their services

To better understand VR's role in different industries, it helps to explore companies that specialize in VR products or services. Explore these 10 virtual reality companies to know right now.  

1. CitrusBits

Based in Pleasanton, California, CitrusBits offers various services, including product design, software development, mobile app development, and technical support. With extensive knowledge in augmented reality (AR) and VR innovation, this award-winning firm continually helps clients from many industries achieve their technological goals.

2. Groove Jones

The team at Groove Jones uses proprietary technology labeled GrooveTech™ to perform a variety of services for clients. Specializing in extended reality (XR)—an umbrella term covering AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR)—this Texas-based company provides the following services and more:

  • Animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI)

  • Audience engagement installations

  • Camera lenses and photo filters for social platforms

  • Consulting and support services

  • Immersive videos

  • Interactive web apps

  • Mobile apps

  • Website development and WebGL

3. Magic Leap

From its home base in Plantation, Florida, Magic Leap develops software and human-computer interfaces (HCI). The company's most prominent product to date, Magic Leap 2, targets business users. This AR headset lets users view their normal environment integrated with digital content. Magic Leap 2 allows business team members worldwide to collaborate remotely, resulting in travel savings, better workflows, a more productive workforce, and a higher return on investment (ROI). 

4. Matterport

Operating from Sunnyvale, California, Matterport specializes in spatial data. This company serves various industries like manufacturing, real estate, and travel by providing digital 3D views of homes, offices, shops, hotels, and factories. Matterport's spatial computing platform helps ensure optimal building design, construction, repair, and marketing. 

5. Niantic

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Niantic develops AR applications and games that inspire users to connect with and explore the outdoors. The original creators of the technology that became Google Earth and Google Maps, Niantic has also created Lightship—a platform for developers to build new AR experiences or add them to existing products—and popular games like Peridot and Pokemon GO.

6. Sandbox VR

Also based in San Francisco, Sandbox VR designs and develops immersive VR experiences for up to six players. Interested parties can find Sandbox VR locations in the US, Europe, and Asia. Players can choose from various storylines, and technical gear like motion capture cameras, haptic suits, and 3D body trackers allow for a realistic experience and exciting player interaction. 

7. Shockoe

This Virginia-based firm focuses on mobile app development. By designing intuitive apps customized to client needs, they help businesses meet goals, increase customer and brand loyalty, encourage user engagement, and boost the client's bottom line. In addition to creating mobile apps, Shockoe specializes in optimizing them for wearables like smartwatches and headsets. 

8. Snap Inc.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Snap Inc. may be best known for developing Snapchat, a camera-based social media platform. Snapchat allows users to share photos or videos (snaps) with friends that disappear after they're viewed by recipients unless saved by the sender. Extensions of Snapchat include Snap AR featuring Lens Studio, which allows creators to share augmented reality experiences on Snapchat, and Spectacles, which provide AR sharing and exciting interactive opportunities.  

9. Unity 

San Francisco-based Unity builds software platforms that people use to create and interact with 2D, 3D, AR, and VR content. Creators of Unity software include architects, artists, auto designers, builders, engineers, filmmakers, and video game designers. Unity offers free subscription plans for new users and students, as well as various paid subscription plans that are dependent upon creative needs. 

10. Vicarious Surgical 

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Vicarious Surgical specializes in medical robotics. The company's current robot design offers optimal visibility with the use of a 3D high-definition camera and better precision and instrument control for surgeons. This makes surgery more efficient, which can help lower health care costs. In addition, the minimally invasive design of the surgical procedure often results in fewer complications for patients, shorter healing times, and better outcomes overall.  

Next steps on Coursera

For more information on virtual reality, consider taking the Virtual Reality Specialization on Coursera offered by the University of London. Throughout the five-course series, you'll learn about VR concepts and technologies, explore the history of virtual reality, experiment with different applications, and build your own VR game. With an investment of 10 hours per week, you will likely complete this course in about two months and receive an official career certificate when you're finished.

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