Virtual reality market has stumbled in 2018 – but the outlook remains positive

The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets are undergoing something of a tumultuous time – but while the near-term outlook sees a dip, long-term growth can be found.

With only a few weeks left to go in the year, analyst firm CCS Insight has predicted that eight million VR and AR headsets and glasses will be sold in 2018. This represents a step down from the 10 million devices sold in 2017; yet the company...

By James Bourne, 05 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Platforms, Research.

Google unveils patent for motorised VR footwear providing ‘unconstrained’ movement

Google has submitted patent documents for ‘augmented and/or virtual reality footwear’ – in a potential attempt to solve a key problem with VR around locomotion.

When does a VR world become truly virtual? Of course, put a headset on and you are in a virtual world, but you cannot walk about in it – at least not very far until reality kicks in. Google’s patent aims to enable what they describe as...

By James Bourne, 20 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

HTC launches enterprise-themed Vive Focus VR in Western markets

HTC is making its enterprise-flavoured Vive Focus virtual reality (VR) set available in Western markets, promising a variety of new applications in the process.

The launch ‘reinforces Vive’s increased commitment to bringing best-in-class design and software expertise – paired with the world’s best VR hardware – to businesses of all sizes’, in the company’s words.

By James Bourne, 09 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Enterprise, Hardware.

Walmart deploys augmented reality to improve barcode scanner

Walmart shoppers can now use augmented reality (AR) thanks to the launch of a new tool for iOS – as the company says it wanted to do ‘so much more’ with its current mobile app barcode scanner.

The retailer has given a shot to augmented reality and has launched a new AR scanning tool in its iPhone application which will help customers with product comparisons. This AR scanner can be panned across store shelves,...

By James Bourne, 02 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.

Mozilla launches Firefox Reality with aim for ground up, standalone MR capability

Mozilla has launched Firefox Reality, a mixed reality (MR) browser compatible with Viveport, Oculus and Daydream, to be designed from the ground up for standalone virtual and augmented reality.

Features of the browser include voice-activated search, built-in private browsing, and resize capabilities. Users can also move between 2D and 3D, as well as activate a movie-speicifc mode. The browser also feature Mozilla's new Quantum engine for smooth and fast performance.

The browser is designed not only for...

By James Bourne, 24 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

VR headset shipments go down year on year – but it’s only a blip, says IDC

Shipments of VR headsets went down 33% year on year, according to IDC – but the analyst firm expects this to be merely a blip as the market finds its footing.

The figures, which appear in the company’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, found declines in each of the primary markets.

Screenless viewers went down from 1 million headsets...

By James Bourne, 06 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Devices, Hardware, Research.

Magic Leap One Creator Edition is finally launched – with $2295 price tag

It has certainly taken its time – but Magic Leap has finally taken the leap and announced the availability of its augmented reality (AR) headset.

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition, in the words of the company, is ‘a spatial computing system that brings digital content to life here in the real world with us. Its unique design and technology lets in natural light waves together with softly layered synthetic lightfields, enabling creators to build unbelievably believable interactive experiences and...

By James Bourne, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Devices.

Strategy Analytics: AR is making waves – but headsets will continue to struggle

Augmented reality (AR) is making waves in the consumer market through apps such as Snapchat and Pokemon GO – but hardware is still struggling to break through.

A new series of reports from analyst firm Strategy Analytics, one focused on AR device market and outlook and another from forecast by device type until 2023, notes that slot-in AR devices will account for the majority of shipments and users today, but binocular units, such as HoloLens, will increase in importance as the market evolves towards...

By James Bourne, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Enterprise.

High Fidelity raises $35 million in series D funding to further global VR infrastructure

San Francisco-based privately held Virtual Reality (VR) specialist firm High Fidelity has raised $35 million in series D funding round which will be used for the further development of a global infrastructure for VR experiences.

The fundraising event was headed by blockchain investment company Galaxy Digital Ventures, who invested $20 million from its Galaxy EOS Ecosystem Fund, was also assisted by Blockchain Capital among new investors. Existing investors, such as Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners and...

By James Bourne, 02 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, M&A.

New report explores greater accessibility for VR games and content

A new detailed report recently released by The Independent Game Developers' Association (TIGA) has noted how to face challenges and grab the opportunity to make VR content available to the widest audiences possible.

The report, titled ‘Accessibility and VR’, is authored by veteran video game accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton. The report covers topics that will better serve those with motor and visual impairment, understanding hearing loss relative to VR, considering simulation sickness,...

By James Bourne, 19 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Applications, Gaming.

New reports give conflicting views on how AR will influence retail

Augmented reality (AR) will be majorly adopted in the retail sector - but not in the way many have predicted, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The analyst firm said that interest in AR will be driven by the retail workforce and online shoppers.

AR experiences can be of extreme use for online customers who are unable to interact with the physical products they plan to buy. For in-store employees, AR promises to deliver operational efficiencies and increase the quality of the service...

By James Bourne, 12 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

AR and VR spending in Canada set to ramp up this year, says IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) Canada has announced the latest release of its IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide forecasting Canada's hardware, software and services spending on the two technologies combined is set to total C$602 million by 2018, increasing to $8 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 90%.

Consumer, healthcare, and retail, powering immersive and realistic images, sounds, and experiences that simulate physical presence in a virtual environment will lead...

By James Bourne, 04 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Ecosystems.

Advertising, search and commerce likely to drive AR expansion, says Strategy Analytics

Advertising, search and commerce are the three main segments that will drive the expansion of augmented reality (AR) beyond Snapchat and Pokemon Go, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The report was published by the analyst firm's Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) arm and titled 'Advertising, Commerce and Search Move Augmented Reality From Fun to Function'.

As the AR is still in its budding stage, Apple’s ARKit and Google S ARCore SDKs have recently allowed access to the...

By James Bourne, 30 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Sotheby's International Realty expands real estate-focused AR app to Apple iOS

Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates has announced that its real estate focussed AR app is now available on Apple iOS devices, iPad and iPhone. 

The Curate by Sotheby's International Realty app was made available for download from the Google Play Store earlier in 2018. The roomy-powered mobile app brings a home’s virtual staging pictures from flat, two-dimensional perspectives into AR allowing home buyers to virtually furnish or decorate their homes prior to fixing a purchase...

By James Bourne, 25 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Microsoft launches HoloLens ‘as a service’ with education partner

Microsoft has announced the launch of HoloLens ‘as a service’, with a subscription programme being put in place alongside UK education provider JTRS.

JTRS, which is owned by Econocom, will offer what is being described as ‘mixed reality as a service’, with customers given a HoloLens package from £260 per device, per month for two years. The service includes the device, delivery, swap warranty, and collection and recycling at the end of the term.

Alongside this, users will be able...

By James Bourne, 02 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware, Microsoft.

New report highlights recent trends and threats in the global VR headsets market

A new report by QYResearchReports.com has outlined the challenges as well as trends associated with the global VR headsets market and offered a detailed analysis of the future growth opportunities.

“Global Virtual Reality Headsets Sales Market Report 2018” aims to reinforce the decision-making capacity of readers, potential investors and new entrants in the VR headset market by offering them with financial performance reports of prominent players, their M&A strategy news, the challenges they...

By James Bourne, 25 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware, Research.