VR space to shake out soon, says report

VR space to shake out soon, says report

Market news |
By Rich Pell

Newer and smaller developers are poised to overtake both the social network giant and consumer goods behemoth in the race to build best-in-class virtual reality (VR) devices.

“Expect the VR space to shake out soon,” warned Tony Sun, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of a new report titled, “Virtual Reality Heats-up: Why Oculus Rift and Samsung VR’s Days on Top Are Numbered.”

The market research firm evaluated 87 headsets on the market across 40 use cases. This included 22 VR devices with built-in displays and 65 smartphone-based VR headsets available on the market. While Oculus Rift ranked at the top, emerging devices such as Sulon Q and Star VR were on the verge of gaining the lead. As for smartphone-based VR headsets, Samsung Gear still got the most traction but was overshadowed in ease of use by Pinch VR and in display by Freefly VR.

“Next-gen smartphone-based VR headsets such as Google’s Daydream will focus on better ergonomic design while innovative new headsets will tap augmented reality and ‘untethered-ness,’” noted Sun.

The reports highlights that while Oculus VR remains the best device for full immersion needs, it is followed closely by HTC Vive, while Ant VR is the best-priced. But all three are wired – limiting movement and adoption – and will soon face competition from devices such as Sulon Q and StarVR, both of which also offer a wider field of vision.

For gamers, as well as for sports training and retail, Freefly VR go the top mark, notably because of its low price. At about $80, it offers a 120-degree field of view and external controller to go with Android phones. Other products include Sony PlayStation VR and Avegant Glyph, the only one already on sale in the market.

For demonstration and exhibition, Samsung Gear VR came out as the best balanced option. But the $99 device will soon face threats from Google’s Daydream, which is expected to bring major improvements in ergonomics, and other wireless devices.

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