Valkyrie at CES 2024

At CES 2024, Startups Magazine’s Anna Wood speaks to Kourosh Atefipour and Gregory Tidanian of Valkyrie, a company who are redefining the boundaries of immersive experiences; dedicated to pioneering haptic wearables – technology capable of delivering resistance-based sensations to the body in virtual reality to transform XR experiences.

Founded as a spin-out from Imperial College London, the company focuses on augmenting human interactions in virtual and augmented reality. Valkyrie's technology, which delivers resistance-based sensations, enhances the VR experience by simulating physical touch, particularly in actions like throwing punches or pulling cables.

The inspiration behind Valkyrie stemmed from the founders' research into human augmentation, recognising early on the potential of touch in various applications beyond gaming and entertainment. Their mission is to provide real-time Electromuscular Stimulation (EMS) haptic feedback, enhancing the VR experience and offering fitness applications.

Currently, their first development kits are available, with consumer market entry anticipated in 12 to 18 months. Distinctively, Valkyrie differentiates itself by offering EMS in a form factor akin to a smartwatch, making it highly modular and compatible with various body parts and Android devices.

Looking ahead, Valkyrie envisages broad applications for their technology, ranging from gaming and fitness to training and rehabilitation. The company's haptic feedback technology fills a crucial gap in VR training applications, such as in automotive or aircraft maintenance, by providing a tangible sense of touch. Additionally, they see significant potential in rehabilitation, aiding those with muscular atrophy. With partnerships like the one with leading footwear brand AS6 and ongoing product developments, Valkyrie is positioned to make substantial impacts in diverse sectors, demonstrating the versatile nature of their haptic technology.