i3 - July/August 2018 - 37

By Rick Kowalski

Business

BY T H E N U M B E RS

VR Gains Momentum, with
an Eye Toward 5G and 8K

 W 

hile the entertainment industry has been using virtual
reality (VR) as inspiration for plotlines, consumers
are bringing VR into their homes and getting a taste
of what is possible with immersive entertainment. The excitement surrounding VR is building as new headsets, software
and applications hit the market. These are the early years, but
momentous sales are showing the potential for VR - and its
cousin, augmented reality (AR).
Thus far, the market has been divided
into two types of VR devices: those
that are tethered to a PC and smartphone-based mobile headsets. A middle ground between the two is
emerging, however. Standalone headsets, which are self-contained systems
with a dedicated screen and processor,
are entering the market in full force
this year. This new form factor has the
potential to attract new VR audiences
that were originally deterred by the
tethered set's hardware requirements
or found the smartphone-based experience lacking.
There are now seven million VR
headsets in U.S. households, which
equates to about six percent of homes
according to CTA's 20th Annual
Consumer Technology Ownership and
Market Potential Study. CTA estimates
that 3.9 million VR/AR headsets
shipped in 2017 and 4.9 million headsets will ship in 2018.

displays to offer smoother, more seamFor those without their own headset,
less virtual and augmented experithere are opportunities to experience
ences in the coming year.
VR outside of the home. VR arcades
Developers believe that 5G will allow
have opened across the U.S., where
higher-end headsets to be untethered
people can pay for time with a headset.
from PCs completely for truly mobile
The Oriental Science Fiction Valley
theme park in Guizhou, China offers 35 VR and AR experiences. And 8K video
is expected to improve image quality,
rides that are completely VR-driven.
Museums are using VR to educate their especially reducing the "screen door"
effect, a problem among lower-definivisitors, and retailers are using it to
tion headset screens where you see the
engage customers.
unlit space between pixels. On the softThere has been a large influx of
ware front, investors are
capital raised that will
putting resources toward
help bring AR/VR hardsolutions that allow develware and software to the
Estimated
opers to easily construct 3D
next level. Digi-Capital
environments and deploy
reported more than $3
VR/AR
their virtual worlds at scale.
billion in AR/VR investheadsets
It's an exciting time for
ment in 2017, representsales are
the AR/VR industry. With
ing a 30 percent increase
projected
the approaching advanceover 2016. Many in the
to reach
ments in 5G, 8K and 3D,
industry look to emerging
18 million
the possibilities look
technologies like 5G
virtually limitless.
cellular and 8K video
by 2021.

Arsenio Marrero/Getty Images

What are People Doing with VR?

There are thousands of games,
360-degree videos, live music and
event experiences, and immersive movies available. HTC says there are more
than 3,000 titles on its Vive headset;
Sony has more than 100 titles for its
VR headset; and Oculus just
announced over 1,000 titles for its
Oculus Go standalone headset.
C TA . t e c h / i 3

VR/AR headsets shipped (millions)
Source: CTA Market Research

JULY/AUGUST 2018

37


http://www.CTA.tech/research http://www.CTA.tech/research http://www.CTA.tech/research http://www.CTA.tech

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - July/August 2018

Contents
i3 - July/August 2018 - Cover1
i3 - July/August 2018 - Cover2
i3 - July/August 2018 - Contents
i3 - July/August 2018 - 2
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