C.U.K.'s Guide to Virtual Reality
VR Industry Expansion
In 2020, the VR market is expected to grow from nearly nothing today to a $150 billion industry. Promoted as the "next big thing" for years, only recently with the improvements and technological advances did VR become available to the consumer market. Tech M&A advisory firm Digi-Capital estimates the growth to be fueled by virtual reality games, experiences and movies. There are several major tech companies that are considered the earliest adopters of augmented reality devices: Facebook's Oculus VR, Samsung's Gear VRs, Sony's PlayStation VR and HTCs Vive.
Facebook's Oculus Rift headset may be initially marketed for "immersive gaming", but the application of VR has already expanded as a platform for many other experiences. Virtual reality can let you experience visiting faraway places, attending live concerts and meetings or taking remote lessons. The Oculus Home is like a Steam platform that lets users buy VR games and other VR types of experiences. Last year, Facebook also started a dedicated film studio for VR film-making, Oculus Story Studio.
E-commerce giant Amazon has also gotten into the VR business. Not just selling VR headsets, but creating a team to build a virtual reality experience within Amazon Video.” Like Facebook, Amazon could create original VR films through Amazon Studios. They can also create VR apps through the Amazon Game Studio. Their new focus could benefit Amazon users who already enjoy the free streaming movies, TV shows, games, books and music provided to Prime Members. Besides enhancing those offerings with VR experiences, Amazon could launch their own smartphone-based VR headset much like the Google Cardboard or Samsung's Gear VR.