2017 could be the perfect year to tap in, both investors and developers.
Virtual reality (VR) devices are headsets worn like glasses, but inside are screens that display a 3D image. The headset tracks users’ head movement and the 3D image moves accordingly, making it appear as if users are inside a 3D ‘virtual’ world. VR is nothing new and it first hit the headlines in the 1990s when video game companies like Nintendo tried to sell VR products to the public. Apparently, this technology has made a comeback. By this time, many of you would have been overwhelmed with the amount of VR headsets from Oculus, HTC, Samsung, and Google that are already available in the market since 2016.
Good News – for consumers, better and more hardware devices to come.
Looking forward to 2017 with its many amazing new devices like Razer and FOVE (probably from Intel, Apple, and Amazon) and the latest version of Samsung and Facebook apps, Oddup believes the development in this built-in cutting edge eye tracking technology will produce an enhanced version of the VR headset in the market. We also believe the priority in this technology enhancements in virtual reality is on its functionality and pricing, not so much on its design as market is becoming relatively competitive out there. Currently, VR headset is used mainly indoors due to the health and safety risks when using it outdoors. However, we are keen to see if Apple could create a concept which is absolutely “cool and fashionable” with this tech device.
Is entertainment software still the key area of focus in 2017?
The trend of playing computer and video games could possibly continue to rise globally in 2017 so you will probably see more Facebook posts about your friends’ experiences with Sony’s PS4 VR game than ever before. Do not be surprised if you also see more VR applications on short video clips and sports highlights. In our view, this is due to the fact that the hardware device is still at an enhancement stage like pricing, size and comfort (in terms of how comfortable the users will feel even after using it for hours). We believe there will be a wider VR application coverage and user base once the VR hardware is fully developed.
Hardware development verses software development
VR hardware development is potentially dominated by corporations yet we do see more investments start flowing into developing software. Therefore, be well-positioned for the trend, as 2017 could be a good year for investment and development for VR related software application. Oddup believes there will be more challenges and trials in Asia for non-entertainment industries like real estate and e-commerce although businesses are still growing and startup activities are relatively active too. We believe there is a growing demand for VR developers who would be underpinned by development needs and funding.
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