100 Disruptive Brands 2017

Disruptive Brands

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2016

Valve

Video game developer Valve, founded in 1996 by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington, is behind games such as Half-Life and Portal.

American born Newell is one of the world’s first video-game billionaires and has a net worth of $2.2bn (£1.5bn), according to Forbes, partly thanks to Steam, its digital games store.

Valve provided the technology behind HTC’s new virtual reality (VR) headset Vive (above) – the main VR rival to PlayStation VR and Oculus – launched at Mobile World Congress in February.

Ikea has released a pilot version of a virtual kitchen experience for the Vive, being sold via Steam. It is the furniture retailer’s first foray into this kind of technology, and Ikea VR Experience is designed to help people explore its products before buying them.

The Vive headset is priced at $799 (£547), and its uses go beyond gaming, according to HTC’s North Asia president Jack Tong, with applications across healthcare, education, retail and automotive.

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