The virtual reality industry is expected to grow 13,000% in the next three years, nearly five times faster than iPhone. (Will Mason wrote this in an article for Upload on November 20, 2014 so we must be one-third of the way there now!)
It is also predicted that by 2018, the vr market could reach 7 billion and still have room to grow.
HMD sales will move beyond the early adopters and start stirring the interest of the early majority as hardware and software start to become available to many types or users, on many platforms.
The largest and easiest segment of growth could be the mobile market. This is the type of headsets that use your smartphone as a screen. Billions of users already have smartphones in their pockets. To experiment with virtual reality, they just need to buy an inexpensive viewer. Many types of viewers are on the market now and many more will hit the market over the next year specifically designed with your smartphone in mind. Is it the greatest experience right now? Probably not. It is good? Yes.
What needs to change to move the mobile vr market from good to excellent? The phone in your pocket! Today it is not yet equipped with the necessary goodies to make the experience excellent but by upgrading their motion sensors, they can deliver content that solves the latency lag, (the bit of time it takes for your device to catch up when you move your head in while in VR). Once this is solved the experience will move from good to excellent.
The Oculus Rift has the latency problem solved but how many users will dish out the cash needed to purchase the HMD and the PC to power it? Yes, I agree, hard core gamers will! The average guy on the street will not. The average guy on the street will have some interest in finding out what is going on with virtual reality and most likely, already has a smartphone. The average guy will be shopping on Amazon, spending some of that $7 billion!
Android operating system, which is behind the Gear VR headset, powers billions of smartphones around the world. Google has influence on the companies that make the phones and it makes sense that they will be asking for the types of upgrades and changes that will bring the VR experience on smartphones from good to excellent, making the “google” type headsets desirable to billions of android users.
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