Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Virtual reality to dominate mass market: Gartner

Staff writer, with CNA

Interest in head-mounted display (HMD) devices, which power virtual reality, augmented reality and other smart-glass apps, are to transition to the mainstream market in the near future, tech research firm Gartner Inc said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Taipei, Gartner research director Brian Blau forecast that the number of global HMD shipments will grow to 2 million units next year, 5 million in 2017 and 8 million in 2018.

In other words, by 2018, more than 25 million units will have been sold, indicating the transition of devices using immersive technologies and virtual worlds from the fringe to the mainstream consumer market, Blau said.

“HMDs were more popular in 2014 than at any point in the past,” Blau said.

“Prior to 2014, HMDs were mainly found in specialty applications, such as industrial design or military training and simulation, where HMD technology is well-developed,” he added.

However, even with a long history of HMD development, broad adoption in the consumer market has yet to take hold, Blau said, adding that the situation would change as soon as HMDs are offered as stylish, consumer-grade video eyeglasses.

For technology companies that have already launched HMD devices, such as Sony Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and HTC Corp (宏達電), Blau said that they should provide quality devices and applications that enhance user experience.

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