Research on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) Headsets Market (impact of COVID-19) with Top Players: Microsoft, Pico, Nintendo,

Which universities have good research reputation in Augment reality (AR), Virtual reality(VR) or Mixed reality in the U.K. (and plus EU, US )?

Building VR and AR in their various form factors is largely an integration problem – not too dissimilar from robotics.

There are multiple pieces of the puzzle, that are likely not studied by any single academic research group. Different groups specialize in various components that should go into a full VR or AR system: (i) groups working on physical displays, (ii) on real-time high-quality graphics rendering, (iii) tracking technologies for use cases where the display is mobile including head tracking for HMDs or tracking of smartphone/tablet like displays, (iv) computer vision for tracking but also scene understanding, (v) electronics groups for various sensors, (vi) computer architecture groups for designing SoCs that enable onboard high-performance compute as in Google’s Project Tango or Microsoft HoloLen’s HPU, (vii) user experience groups for researching how these technologies are used and impact us e.g. those studying nausea when using VR, (viii) haptics teams for designing controllers and physical feedback, (ix) even biometrics teams, and so on and so forth.

So, you have to first narrow down what area of VR or AR you are interested in. As a computer vision person, I can tell you the leading academic groups doing tracking (SLAM) and scene understanding to the extent that it directly applies to AR and VR.

The leaders amongst such groups – and surprisingly there is more activity in these areas academically in Europe than in the US – are:

  • Andrew Davison’s group at Imperial College London
  • Dieter Schmalstieg at TU Graz, Austria
  • Marc Pollefeys at ETH Zurich
  • Nassir Navab, Daniel Cremers, Gudrun Klinker at TU Munich, Germany