Virtual Reality: To Be or Not to Be? –

Posted: March 26, 2020 at 6:11 am

XR is a term which has become more prominent in the last few years. It encapsulates virtual, augmented, and mixed reality topics. The definition of each of these has become saturated in the past decade, with companies using their own definitions for each to describe their products. The new IDTechEx Report, Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality 2020-2030, distils this range of terms and products, compares the technologies used in them, and produces a market forecast for the next decade.

The report discusses 83 different companies and 175 products in VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality) markets. This article specifically discusses the findings on the virtual reality market.

Virtual reality (VR) involves creating a simulated environment which a user can perceive as real. This is achieved by stimulating the various senses with appropriate signals. This is most commonly visual (via displays and optics) and auditory (via headphones or speakers) signals, but also increasingly involves efforts around haptic (touch) sensations. The generation of realistic virtual environments requires the generation of appropriate stimuli and systems to direct how the stimuli should change, whether automatically or due to user interaction. As such, this relies on a variety of components and systems including displays, optics, sensors, communication and processing, delivered via both hardware and associated software to generate this environment.

There are three main groups of VR headset - PC VR, Standalone VR and Smartphone VR. PC VR has a user interface & display worn on the body, but the computing and power are offloaded to the external computer. This is where most of the commercial hardware revenue is made today. Standalone VR is a dedicated standalone device (no tethering) with all required computing and components on board. Finally, smartphone/mobile VR uses the smartphone processor, display and sensors used to power VR experience, with only a very cheap accessory necessary to convert to VR. The report discusses the revenue split for these three sectors in full, and an example image is shown in the figure below.

Top image: Pixabay

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Virtual Reality: To Be or Not to Be? -

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