The VR industry is entering the final stage of the Gartner Hype Cycle, the high-growth adoption phase, this year.
It’s been a long, strange trip since Facebook/Oculus first shipped the first DK1 VR dev kits in early 2014. After a few missteps, five years later the VR industry has figured out and built the VR product that meet early mass market of consumer requirements: stand-alone simplicity and convenience, 80% of tethered VR performance, inside-out position tracking for comfort, long battery life, an under $400 price tag, and a range of content besides games, including entertainment and fitness applications.
The info-graphic above summarizes the story of the history of VR products from the beginning of commercial VR in 2013 to 2020, VirZOOM’s development history in parallel.
In 2018, VR stopped “having potential” and started being real
Shipments of Oculus Go, one of two target VR platforms for VirZOOM’s new VZfit Sensor Kit consumer product, shipping in March, was a key part of better-than-expect VR performance in 2018.
Oculus Quest, our other VZfit consumer product target platform, is identified as the primary driver of VR industry growth in 2019.
SuperData: VR grew 30% in 2018 thanks to PSVR, Oculus Quest will be 2019’s hit
This year the VR industry enters into the traditional better-cheaper-faster price/performance race that characterizes maturing technology industries, starting with third generation products, of which Oculus Quest is the first. HTC Vive Focus Cosmos and others will follow later this year.
That’s good news for application developers like VirZOOM. It only gets easier from here.
Congratulations to all the VR application companies out there that made it this far. Your business is about to explode.
For broad, late stage adoption after 2020, not shown in the info-graphic, two major VR product requirements remain: light weight and eliminating that “goggle” look that consumers negatively associate with VR.
As I mentioned in What’s Ailing the VR Industry? moving VR image processing from a PC or PS4 into the VR headset itself as 3rd generation stand-alone VR products have done is actually a step backwards from 1st generation tethered VR products with respect to meeting the need for light VR headsets. CPUs make them bulkier and heavier than, for example, an Acer WinMR headet. Look for 4th generation VR products to come out in 2020 or 2021 that process VR images on your smart phone and send the image data via 5G to the VR headset. Sans CPU, designers can focus on headset designs to make them more fashionable. My bet is that Apple is the first to offer truly stylish, lightweight VR glasses. Apple customers will line up around the block to buy them. Say, in Q4 2021.
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