This has been a great year for the reality augmented thanks to Pokémon Go. Virtual reality awaits their turn be in 2017, but for that need, in addition to improving your hardware, another application of great impact.
The past year will be remembered in the still-brief history of virtual reality as the first in which surpassed the 1,000 million dollars in revenue, according to estimates by the consulting firm Deloitte. Virtual reality goggle sales grew 1047% to 8.2 million units, but however 2016 was not the year of the launch of the business. Why?
A recent report by Business Insider Intelligence like the figures of the industry, reaching the conclusion of virtual reality (VR, for its acronym in English) is still a volatile market, which still boiling water lacks, in colloquial terms. “In a sense, reminded the industry of smartphones in the middle of the last decade: a lot of software and hardware manufacturers come into the industry with a huge lack of certainties and without commonly accepted standards”, according to this study.
Evolution of Virtual Reality
That with respect to the offer. In terms of demand, Business Insider Intelligence is clear that everything is prepared so that there is a lug in the collective interest in the VR. Missing a push: an application that captures global attention, as happened in 2016 with augmented reality and Pokémon Go. The consultant not elucubra on candidates for that great success that will change the history of the VR, but you do have clear which is falling by a combination of factors: advances in hardware, the progressive interests of developers and consumers, and the increase in global investment, which will be placed in $ 2,600 million in 2016, according to the consulting firm CB Insights, , with a 271% increase over the same period of the previous year.
While this popularization, manufacturers and early adopters of the VR move on the edge between quality and price of devices: the price has to be competitive, and at the same time the immersive experience should be attractive enough as to convince the consumer to a viewer on your face on a regular basis. Moreover, if the manufacturers bet on low prices but offer experiences poor or even bad quality, run the risk of generating a rejection to the VR that will not disappear from one day to another.
To date, what is affordable has no quality and what is quality is not affordable. In this dichotomy move three types of deals: the VR based on smartphones; which works with game consoles or PCs and the autonomous VR. The first has a more affordable price, but lame in the quality of the experiences; the second is very immersive, but it can become very expensive. Finally, the autonomous VR is located half-way between the two.
The VR which works with the mobile is the clear winner of the short term, but their future options have a ceiling. At the moment, it is affordable and has some roots in the market, as Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR models. In addition, some Giants are making promotional efforts: Google has come to give his Daydream glasses with the purchase of your premium Pixel phone.
Against half a million units of VR goggles linked to a mobile phone sold by 2015, BI Intelligence estimates placed its sales in four million at the end of 2016, 6.4 million at the end of 2017 and 36 billion in 2022. It is not a great success. By contextualizing these figures, Apple sells between 40 and 50 million iPhones… each quarter.
But the main problem of the VR linked to smartphones is not the interest of the consumer, but technical: the capacity of computer processing involving the good experiences of virtual reality may be incompatible with a mobile phone.
The VR will then be one of the few realities of the future to escape from the all-powerful smartphone? As emphasizes Paul Lee, head of the area of TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) from Deloitte Research, “the market of smartphones with possibility of VR is currently more than 2,000 million devices, but if we think of really good VR, you need very fast processors and true high definition displays. “Then the niche market is reduced to between 100 and 200 million smartphones”.
The experiences of virtual reality based on personal computers and consoles emerge as interesting alternatives. The problem with the PC is the price: in addition to the cost of the computer and the possible accessories, VR devices are expensive. Their prices move in the fork between 500 and 1,000 euros, 800 dollars-live HTC and Oculus Rift in the $600.