Most people expect big things from the market for virtual reality (VR) gear. After all, when Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) paid $2 billion for Oculus Rift in 2014, that pretty much put the stamp of approval on the technology and its future.
Marketing intelligence firm Tractica noted in February that the global market for VR hardware and content totaled just $592.3 million in 2016. The firm expects that total to rise to $9.2 billion by 2020.
There are a couple of hurdles, though. First is price. Facebook just dropped the price of the Oculus headset and Touch motion controllers by a total of $200 to $499 for the headset and $99 for the controller. But that’s still pretty steep. There are cheaper VR devices, but Oculus has established itself as the premium player.
Another issue is connectivity. While many headsets do not require a wired connection to the PC, without such a connection performance suffers. Oculus, for example, not only requires a cable connection to the PC but to get the best VR performance out of the VR gear, you need a souped-up PC.
And once you’ve spent the money, what can you do with VR? Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) offers a list of five applications and experiences you can use right now with your new VR setup:
- Visit real world locations. Take half an hour to visit Miami when the snow outside your home in Duluth is two-feet deep and the temperature hasn’t been out of the single digits for a week.
- Make your special day last a lifetime. Use a 360-degree camera to capture a special event like a wedding and then replay it in VR.
- Paint and sculpt in 3D. Release your inner Picasso or Cassatt with a virtual environment that seemingly has no end of possibilities.
- A movie theater in your home. Watch scalable movies, where whales really are life-size. That is, huge.
- All the amazing games. Old favorites are being converted to VR all the time, and the new games are breathtaking.