Market

The reality technology landscape ranges from wearable hardware, to deeply immersive content.

The market of reality technologies is rapidly evolving with new companies regularly launching. The overall landscape is comprised of various technologies from core hardware components, to essential software components such as virtual reality content. Below, we explore the various levels of this emerging market.


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Reality Technology Market Overview

There are many landscape overviews for the reality technology industry floating around. However, most of them are overly complicated and only understandable to those who hand significant experience. Our market overview takes into account the three main categories that make up the reality technologies industry: Infrastructure, Platforms, and Applications. If you are interested in learning about the individual companies that make up these categories, check out our Reality Technology Companies and Startup List page to search our ever growing database of companies.

Infrastructure
Hardware used to view and interact with content

Head-mounted Displays

Head-mounted displays (also referred to as HMDs) are a core hardware component that is often attached to a user’s head and used to view content which utilizes a standard LCD screen to display images, movies, and 3D videos. They are either mobile based or tethered to a PC/console. In terms of quality, they range from introductory cardboard viewing devices that are used in conjunction with a smartphone, to high-end devices with integrated displays that require either a PC or console.

Input/Output Devices

Input and output devices are the hardware components used in conjunction with the head-mounted displays that provide sensory feedback from a user’s body movements. Hands are the most common input devices, and utilize gloves or handheld controllers to sense a user’s hand movements. Other devices may track a user’s feet and/or entire body movements and provide output that recreates the sense of touch by applying motions, forces, or vibrations.

Platforms
Tools used to make and distribute content

Distribution

Distribution refers to the platforms where users can access or distributed content. Consumers of content usually either stream or download content. Some content may only be used on specific headsets (i.e. closed) and other content may be headset-agnostic (i.e. open).

Process and Engines

Process and engines refer to the primarily software-based tools used to create and edit the content. The three main components of process and engines are the engines used to create computer generated imager, file size compression technologies, and editing and stitching software to compile video from multiple cameras.

Reality Capture

Reality capture refers to how the content is captured. Below, we explore three of the main components of reality capture. There are three main components of reality capture: 360 Degree video capture, Stereoscopic video capture, and Lightfield environment mapping.

Applications
The content a user interacts with


Business

Success in business is all about efficiency and productivity. The advent of AR/VR technologies unlock the ability to perform activities that might have previously been written off as too cumbersome such as remote training, real time language translation, and virtual desktops.


Education

From allowing students to travel to distant historic locations, to providing interactive and stimulating visuals of our planet's most important geological locations, reality technologies will emerge as an defacto tool for educators.


Gaming

Undoubtedly the most popular application of virtual reality applications to-date, virtual reality games provide players with a new gold standard for in-game immersion. Virtual reality games are so realistic, a first-time player can very easily forget they are in a virtual world.


Entertainment

Likely the VR/AR application with the most potential, current applications range from theme park rides with VR headsets, to Virtual Reality Movie Theaters, and virtual reality adult industry adoption, with releasing 360 degree videos and more.


Healthcare

Both patients and doctors alike are set to greatly benefit from augmented reality adoption in the healthcare industry. Whether it is accesing tutorials during a training session, or interacting with a patient's healthcare records, use of this technology benefits all.


Marketing

Advertisers are always looking for new ways to engage customers. Marketers have begun using the ‘reality technologies’ buzzword to garner public attention and also tap into the emerging medium of ‘virtual worlds’ where users spend countless hours immersed in a realistic worlds.


Sports

With the ability to virtually transport a dedicated fan to courtside seats of a live playoff game, or provide a realistic virtual training environment for professional athletes, virtual reality technology will undoubtedly be a frequently used technology of the entire global sports industry.


Travel

Traveling can be a costly and laborious event. The reality technology industry has taken note of this and began providing users with the ability to preview destinations and even flight passengers with VR in-flight entertainment.