Technology continues to amaze us with what is possible as new developments surface. Virtual reality is one type of new technology worth taking a deeper look into. It has the potential to revolutionize entertainment, training mechanisms, and educational opportunities. It hasn’t quite taken off with the public though, as less than 1 percent of American homes have a fully capable VR headset.
This lack of takeoff hasn’t completely shuttered development for some companies. Sony’s PS4 VR headset has sold over 2 million units, while HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift have crossed the 1 million mark. These three companies are the ones to keep eyes on in the future as the technology takes off and becomes adopted into more aspects of everyday life.
The Vive was introduced in Spring of 2016 to use with the Steam Platform, a common program for gamers. It was one of the better headsets introduced to the VR market early. Its primary downfall is that it isn’t the easiest device to use. Buyers have to put sensors in the corners of the room using user-installed mounts. It also requires cables to be run across the room for functionality. It wasn’t perfect by any means but gave insight into what the technology could create.
Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 and introduced the Rift around the same time the Vive was released, but the product was far from complete. The handheld controls didn’t come out until two years later and the sensors made functionality less-than-stellar. Lowering the price down to $399 in 2017 created a surge in business for the Rift, as it sold 50,000 more units during Q3 than the Vive. Facebook has a positive future for VR with the Oculus Go being introduced later in the year at a more affordable price to expand the user base.
Sony’s PS4 VR headsets are leading the market with 2 million units sold in. They have room to grow since more than 70 million of its gaming PS4 consoles have been sold. The primary drawback is that the headset is limited to the PS4, preventing non-gamers from utilizing it.
VR still has yet to become mainstream but is worth watching for the future. As long as investors and companies continue to invest in the possibilities and development, rest assured that the best is yet to come.