Updated 09:20 PM EDT, Mon, Sep 27, 2021

Oculus, Morpheus & More: Augmented & Virtual Reality Expected at $150 Billion by 2020

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An analysis by market advisor Digi-Capital has predicted that augmented and virtual reality revenues will hit $150 billion by 2020.

Today, both technologies are young and developing, with some of the world's hardware and software giants starting their ventures. Managing director Tim Merel is convinced that a pure quantitative analysis is challenging.

Representing Digi-Capital, Merel wrote via TechCrunch, "There's not much of a track record to analyze yet... This analysis is based on how VR/AR could grow new markets and cannibalize existing ones after the market really gets going next year."

According to the report, augmented reality (AR) takes the larger share of the pie with $120 billion, while virtual reality (VR) comes at $30 billion. That's a four-fold difference.

To make sense of these figures, it's important to determine the distinction between the technologies. In simplest terms, virtual reality is the creation of a world that's "closed and fully immersive." Visually, it allows users to become void of their physical environments.

On the other hand, augmented reality, described to be "open and partly-immersive," is the merging of virtual and physical environments.

Merel expressed that VR is great for games and 3D films, but because of its closed nature, it may not be ideal for users walking on streets or commuting to work. It's really built for specific people.

And yes, Merel claimed that VR has a waiting user base of "tens of millions among console, PC and MMO gamers, those who prefer 3D to 2D films, as well as niche enterprise users (e.g. medical, military, education)."

Meanwhile, with AR's open nature, consumers will be able to execute their daily tasks, just like how smartphones and tablets are utilized today.

Merel compared, "Where VR is like wearing a console on your face (Oculus), AR is like wearing a transparent mobile phone on it (Magic Leap, HoloLens)."

In the meantime, let's take a look at some of the industry's key players:

Facebook's Oculus Rift - Virtual Reality

Followers would remember how Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion last year.

Recently, it's been announced that the company will bring spherical videos (aka "teleportation station") to its News Feed and Oculus Rift. The technology makes use of 360-degree explorations of "cities, landmarks and other places," CNET reported.

Sony's Project Morpheus - Virtual Reality

Project Morpheus, announced in March 2014, is a virtual reality platform primarily designed to upgrade the gaming experience in PlayStation 4. It adopts 3D audio technology and stereoscopic sounds. That being said, prospects can also expect a 360-degree virtual experience.

HTC & Valve's Vive Headset - Virtual Reality

Expected to release this year, the Vive VR Headset packs two 1,200 x 1,080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second. Set above the hardware are two USB ports, an HDMI port and a headphone jack. Needless to say, the device grants users a 360-degree experience.

The Vive Developer Edition is recently offered for free.

Google-Funded Magic Leap - Augmented Reality

Following the demise of the Google Glass, Google has shelled out $542 million for Magic Leap, then thought to be a mysterious working of some sort.

In February, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz finally disclosed interesting bits of information. He warned prospects about the HoloLens and "similar devices," the problem of which allegedly lies in their use of stereoscopic 3D.

He said, "These inputs into the eye-brain system are incorrect -- and can cause a spectrum of temporary and / or permanent neurologic deficits."

The CEO described Magic Leap as techno-biology, which he claims to be the "future of computing."

Microsoft's HoloLens - Augmented Reality

In January, Microsoft introduced its Windows Holographic system. The technology is based on three systems designed to work with one another: (1) the Windows Holographic, (2) the HoloLens and (3) the HoloStudio.

The HoloLens is also packed with a series of sensors, including a Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) designed to process real-time data. Microsoft has reportedly worked with NASA in pursuit of the technology.

These are just some of today's loudest surfacing augmented and virtual reality platforms. Of course, we've seen Samsung's Gear VR and heard about Apple's fashion-forward AR interface. That being said, we can't wait to see how these products fare once they're all in full bloom.

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