Hardware Radar for Virtual Reality: Q2 2014
Last week we released the Q2 2014 update of the VR Radar map showing games, apps and experiences for consumer virtual reality. This week it’s the turn of hardware and this element of the market is demonstrating as much growth as the software side.
From a funding perspective, the VR hardware market has to a degree piggybacked off the success of Oculus VR on Kickstarter (and the subsequent Andreessen Horowitz investment followed by the Facebook acquisition), with many companies having successfully reached their financing targets or well on the way to achieving them.
Over and above Kickstarter, VC interest has also helped VR hardware companies commence development. The bottom line being that more VC’s are now actively examining opportunties in this space and viewing it as a market worth exploring (read – because there are exits).
We’ve segmented the VR hardware market into eight different categories, as follows:
- HMD – Integrated: A virtual reality head-mounted display with the screen integrated into the unit. This segment (obviously) includes Oculus VR, as well as companies such as VRelia, Gameface Labs, Avegant, Sony and ANTVR.
- HMD – With Mobile Device: A virtual reality head-mounted display using a third-party mobile device as the screen. Companies in this segment include Durovis, Seebright, Altergaze, Vrizzmo and Samsung.
- Controller – Hand Device / Glove / Body Unit: An input device using hands and/or body movement for tracking via sensors. PrioVR, STEM, Control VR and Leap Motion are all included in this element of the market.
- Controller – Treadmill / Foot Control: An input device that tracks leg/foot movements. In this category we include Virtuix Omni, InfinAdeck, the Cyberith Virtualizer and Stompz.
- Controller – Haptics: An input device for hands and body that also provides tactile feedback by force or vibration. The KOR-FX Gaming Vest, iMotion and the Reactive Grip are three of the products included here.
- 3D Camera: A video or image recording device that captures 3D stereoscopic views. Jaunt, Giroptic and Matterport are within this grouping.
- End-to-End Platform: A company that provides HMD systems coupled with input devices and motion capture. This category brings together companies that are creating VR experiences encompassing HMDs, input devices, games and other elements. Survios and VRCade are two examples.
- Misc: Products not fitting into other categories. We’ll keep a close eye on this category to see if it’s worth keeping, but in the meantime we’ve allocated Petal, a VR fan into it.
Input Systems and Body Controllers Radar
Shown below is the radar segment showing two categories, Controllers: Hand Device / Glove / Body Unit and Controllers: Treadmill / Foot Control.
We’ve assigned companies according to their launch stage as they bring their products to market. Launch stages are classified as follows:
- Announced / Pending Funding: A prototype has been announced but the company/inventor has not yet secured funding.
- In Development: A prototype has been publicly demonstrated and/or the company has funding (privately, via Kickstarter or from third-party funding including VC’s).
- Pre-Order / Dev Kit Available: The product is in a stage of development beyond a prototype, has made limited versions available to developers and/or is taking pre-orders.
- Consumer Version Available: The product is available for purchase by the general public.
We have a free report available (order here) that contains all eight categories and a full list (we believe) of all companies developing virtual reality hardware. Drop us a line if you’re developing VR hardware and want to be in the report or let us know if we’ve missed any. We’ve also put the presentation on Slideshare.
What’s not included in our list is the input hardware that Oculus is currently developing (because it’s top-secret). We’ve also excluded the Kinect, although movement tracking is an area we’ll closely monitor for new developments.
Accompanying the eight hardware radar segments within our report are visuals of each product. Shown below are the products in the Controller: Hand Device/Glove/Body Unit category.
Of course we can’t forget about the Headsets! We’ve segmented the HMD (Head Mounted Display) market into two groups – Integrated Displays (the head unit has a display built into it) and Mobile Devices (the unit accommodates a separate mobile device that acts as the screen). We’ve also included some headsets that provide virtual and augmented reality experiences. The headset radar segment is shown below.
This post contains our forecasts for timings with respect to virtual reality headsets. So far only the Durovis Dive is publicly available although the DK1 from Oculus VR has found its way into the hands of lot of people. Who’s going to be next to bring a virtual reality headset to market?
And as a final point, the importance of the ‘Adult’ marketplace should not be overlooked. The adoption and development of virtual reality, just like video streaming, credit card payments and other online technologies before it, will be assisted to a (some say high) degree by companies that create VR hardware that stimulates certain parts of the body. That’ll be for another post.