This month, we have had a comprehensive discussion around augmented reality and virtual reality. We started off the month with an understanding of the differences between these two and went on to discuss its use cases across the 7 key industries of the Indian economy. We think that now would be a good time to talk about the AR/VR key players that are dominating the market. Research says that the AR and VR headset market will reach 65.9 million units by 2022. In the same light, it comes as no surprise that the players in the market are increasing exponentially. At the same time, the global AR/VR Market has the potential to reach $94.4 Billion by 2023.
While the AR/VR market is growing with the speed of light, customer satisfaction and experience is also on the rise. Undoubtedly there are a plethora of players today that are putting the pieces together to augment the supply chain for the users. However, talking about all the players, big or small, will be beyond the scope of this blog. Let’s start by exploring the top players which are the most famous amongst the users!
Let us begin the discussion with Google that ranks high on the list of AR/VR key players. Google’s journey in the AR/VR space dates back to 2013 with Google Glass. Though this product didn’t receive that market response it set out for, however, it did create a place for itself in the AR/VR market. At present, as one of the AR/VR key players, Google has two major products to be proud of. On the one hand is Google Daydream. Daydream is a VR headset that is compatible with mobile phones. Its main objective is to enable users to create immersive experiences from YouTube videos, apps, etc. Its application in the education space is profound. More often that not, it finds use in the creation of immersive documentaries among other things.
At the same time, Google Cardboard is the next AV/VR product that adds to Google’s laurels. As the name suggests, it is a VR headset, made out of cardboard. The idea is to keep it cheap and thus affordable to increase the user base. In addition to affordability, it lets students get amazing experiences with Google expeditions, which are like field trips, without stepping out of the classroom.
Microsoft is another tech giant to join the race of AR/VR key players. Its flagship product Hololens is what has been drawing it to the center stage of augmented and virtual reality. Hololens is primarily a mixed reality product and aims to capture that enterprise segment for the AR/VR user market. What sets apart Hololens from the other AR/VR products is the fact that it is an all in one product. While the other ones need a computer, an internet connection, etc, Hololens is sufficient in itself. Since the product comes at a premium cost, Microsoft is also offering it to enterprises on a rental arrangement as well. In February 2019, Microsoft released the successor, Hololens 2. The successor came with several upgrades of memory, processing system, storage, WiFi type, field of view, among others.
HTC as one of the AR/VR key players got the spotlight with what it calls HTC VIVE. Technically speaking, VIVE is primarily a collaborative effort by HTC and Valve, to create a virtual reality system. In addition to creating a VR headset, the project is also spearheading a AR/VR accelerator program called VIVE X. VIVE as an AR/VR provider seeks to focus majorly on the gaming and entertainment industry. The headsets that come out tend to be more affordable for its target audience in comparison to the major competitors in the market. This collaborative effort by HTC and Valve aims to augment the affordability and accessibility of AR/VR products. They seek to achieve the twin goal of high quality at low prices. Additionally, VIVE X focuses on investing in and supporting AR/VR startups to promote greater innovation in the field.
One of the successful startups which has made a place for itself in the AR/VR key players list is Magic Leap. As a key player, it focuses on building Mixed reality headsets. Magic Leap One, its flagship product is a pair of augmented reality goggles with handheld sensors. An extraordinary immersive experience is the focal point of their attention. The product superimposes 3D imagery which is computer generated on real world objects. The light fields fall on the wearer’s eyes and make the digital images very realistic and believable.
One of the final names in this list of AR/VR key players is Oculus. Oculus is one of the top AR/VR companies that focuses on creating VR headsets and Software. In 2014, it was acquired by the tech giant Facebook. Oculus Go and Oculus Rift were the two products it was most famous for a long time. The latter is still acknowledged as offering very realistic and immersive VR experiences to its users. Just last year, the company introduced Oculus Quest, an all in one VR gaming system. What sets apart Oculus from most of its competitors is the support it was able to garner from its users and the community at large, which was initially hostile and averse to the whole AR/VR ecosystem. Not only does the company focus on bettering its headsets, it is also creating gaming, instructional as well as entertainment software for the device.
AR/VR Key Players: Which One is for Me?
Well, if you are looking for an AR/VR product for your use, you can explore the major offering by these key players and decide. Each of them differs in either their offerings, their target audience or their pricing. On the other hand, if you are an AR/VR developer and wish to contribute to the community with your technical skills, do write to us. We will connect you to the top startups working in the field!