Virtual reality headsets hit milestone

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The sale of virtual reality headsets has reached a milestone. For the first time in history, a research agency reports sales of highend VR headsets topped one million in the last quarter.

We had a chance to see some of that technology at a recent Founder's Day, a gathering of start-ups founders in the Bay Area.

Are dancing robots in your future? Or maybe a bionic creature performing simple tasks? What about this new way to test drive a car?

One San Franciscan was able to experience a new automatic braking feature using virtual reality.

"If I was buying a car, I could see seeing several demos, especially with cars having new features, said Ben Haldeman.

The system which will be showcased at the Silicon Valley Auto Show in January is being developed by Flowfound.

" Flowfound offers virtual and authentic reality test drives focusing on safety performance and features you couldn't or wouldn't try in a real test drive, said the company's founder, Nick Cybela.

A new company called Humon AI is out to replace humans.

One robot is known as Humon. It can be trained to perform tasks that would be dangerous for humans to try such as toxic waste disposal. Eventually it'll perform simple household tasks like making a waffle. Robots could replace humans in performing household chores. "Humon AI is a company we created to essentially create a human," said its founder Ryan Holmes. "And what we mean by this is a body that you can log into it from any place in the world and do anything.

Looking to be amused? Meet the Amazon Alexa-powered humanoid, Sanbot Nano. It comes with all the features of Alexa except with a little more pizzazz. "It will actually 3D map your home. It will let you know if a window or door is left open. It will greet you at work. It will let your kids contact you. It will do teleconferencing," said Dave Martinez of Dave Martinez Ventures.

Sales of virtual reality headsets have steadily increased this year. That progress could continue as Hollywood moves to adopt these technologies.

Mike Rothenberg is with Rothenberg Ventures. "Where VR really meets its promise is when the storytellers of Hollywood and other creators meet with the technologist and they fuse those together. Without either we can't get there," he said.

Rothenberg says while sales are steadily increasing, the creation of VR technlogy is happening at a rapid pace.

Written and produced by Randall Yip
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