A recent report published on Research and Markets has predicted that the virtual reality market will reach a value of $15.89 billion by 2020, with smartphone penetration expected to build a huge market for mobile gamers. Following in the footsteps of HTC & Samsung, news broke this week that Google were developing their own virtual-reality headset for smartphones.
The new headset will feature improved sensors and lenses and is expected to be released later this year. Like Google's Cardboard, released in 2014, this new headset will function using an existing smartphone, slotted into the device, for its display.
A report on virtual reality in the global gaming market highlighted the rapid growth of the smartphone market as a key driver, with close to 2 billion smartphones expected to be shipped by 2019-2020. It forecast the market to grow at a CAGR of 25.97% as a result. It notes that smartphones offer benefits such as portability, untethered aspect, ease of use and provides an enhanced viewing and gaming experience. These developments are expected to have a positive impact on the consumer segment, triggering VR technology's acceptance in the market.
Google has also heavily invested in mixed-reality firm Magic Leap, with CEO Sundar Pichai sitting on the startup's board. Even though it hasn't launched a product yet, Magic Leap recently raised nearly $800m from investors including Alibaba, Warner Bros and Google.
Mixed reality technology combines the virtual reality world of CGI with the real-world environment. It offers more realism than conventional virtual reality and enabled the user to interact with designs in real-time. The global mixed reality market is estimated to be valued at $453.4 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 75.2% between 2016 and 2020.
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 Source: Financial Times, Google pushes further into virtual reality with new headset.
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