Get ready for the Face Race as the number of companies developing and launching Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and even Augmented Virtuality devices starts to ramp-up.
Sure, companies like Oculus VR and Sony (for virtual reality) and Google (for augmented reality) are getting most of the headlines but there’s a whole lot of competition heading their way.
Using the rather useful Reality–virtuality continuum we’ve laid out the current market for companies in the sector and their relative stage of development. First-up, let’s start by explaining and defining the spectrum.
Starting on the left we have the spatial real world – what we see and experience with our bodies without any technological enhancement.
Moving along the spectrum, the first technological enhancement is Augmented Reality. This is a live view of the real world with a small proportion (under circa 25%) of digital information added (i.e. augmented) into our field of view. The best example of an AR device is Google Glass.
Jumping to the far right, we have Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality is a 3D virtual environment accessed via a headset. VR is 100% immersive meaning the wearer of the headset does not see their real-world surroundings. In VR, users interact within a virtual world.
This leaves the middle ground, known as ‘Mixed Reality’ or ‘Augmented Virtuality (AV)’. AV is an interesting area because it covers from 25% digital enhancement right up to 99%. Wikipedia defines AV as ‘the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time’.
In later posts we’ll dive deeper into Mixed Reality applications but for now, here’s our competitor roadmap for companies operating in this range of segments.
Starting with Augmented Reality companies, there are two publicly available products, Google Glass and the Vuzix M100. However, there’s both tech titans and start-ups gearing up for market entry. These include Epson and Samsung in the former classification and i2i in start-up mode. We anticipate all three of these products being available within six months. Expanding the time range, Sony, LG and Microsoft are all rumoured to be working on their own versions of augmented reality. Continue reading →