Ottawa, September 29, 2020—Canada’s immersive technology industry spans more than 350 companies across four main hubs of activity—Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Alberta. According to Statistica, the immersive industry in Canada was collectively valued at $600 million in 2018, with strong projected global growth potential.

ICTC’s new report, Spanning the Virtual Frontier: Canada’s Immersive Technology Ecosystem, is a first-of-its-kind analysis that traces the emergence of immersive technology in Canada and provides a detailed picture of Canada’s immersive technology ecosystem.

In its modern form, immersive technology—spearheaded by AR and VR (Augmented Reality overlays digital information onto the user’s real-world environment, whereas Virtual Reality VR completely immerses the user in a computer-generated 3D environment)—grew rapidly between 2014 and 2017 when more than 150 new companies were founded in Canada.

Many of these companies are now successful beyond their entertainment-based roots, expanding to health and biotechnology, clean tech, and advanced manufacturing.

Challenges facing the immersive industry include slower Canadian adoption of immersive technologies than elsewhere and access to investment financing.

Spanning the Virtual Frontier: Canada’s Immersive Technology Ecosystem also explores the following dimensions of the immersive ecosystem in Canada:

  • Size and depth of provincial ecosystems
  • Top use cases across industries
  • Top skill sets of immersive technology
  • The need for additional upskilling or training while on the job

Wider adoption of immersive tech in the coming years will be influenced by cheaper and better headsets and a better understanding of how immersive technology can be leveraged across industries, including non-tech sectors.

“Immersive technologies have the potential to expand the realm of our physical world and explore new frontiers in science, health, engineering, and education among many others. Embracing this technology across various industry verticals will unleash new business models and employment prospects for Canadians in the coming years,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

The Information and Communications Technology Council is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.

For Interviews with an ICTC subject experts and other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives program.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French-language version of the press released is here.

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