It's Friday. You know the drill. It's time to drop this week's edition of Field of View. Your place to find out what's been going in the world of VR and AR.
Before we get into all of that, there's also the small matter of what's been happening on the site. This week, we investigated whether VR porn is really on the rise and explored how VR could help take on the opioid epidemic. We also tried out the Star Wars location-based VR experience and US reporter Husain fought his fears using virtual reality in his latest VR diary instalment.
Essential reading: Top VR games to play in 2018
And we're not done. We've picked out the best of the rest of the news as well as a game you need to play and a vid you should check out too.
Read this: News blips and tidbits
VR and AR to be worth big bucks in 2018 and beyond
According to research firm CCS Insight the VR and AR market will hit $1.8 billion in 2018 and by 2022 will be valued at $9.9 billion. The firm also indicates that gaming remains the prime reason for people buying VR devices with over 70% of people who've bought a Vive, Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR having also bought some games to play on it. It's a similar story for owners of smartphone-powered VR headsets with more than half having spent money on some VR games too.
On the AR front, while there's a lot of excitement and money being invested in the space, it seems that this is still tech built for business use right now. CCS estimates though that only 24,000 AR smart glasses were purchased for business use in 2017. It does expect that sales will hit 1 million by 2022 and that consumer-friendly AR smartglasses will hit a sales volume of 4.5 million units. So the future still seems bright.
Microsoft shows HoloLens prototype
Before the Microsoft's mixed reality headset was packing a visor it looked like this (look up). We know this because the Redmond company provided an insight into the development of HoloLens including some images of the early HoloLens prototypes, which looks like it was inspired by a trip to the opticians.
In the blog post dedicated to the story behind HoloLens, it described the need to develop a lightweight, wearable, self-contained system that offered unique mixed reality experiences. HoloLens has made its way to developers but a consumer version is still very much in the pipeline and we still don't know when it's going to land.
ODG and FedEx builds smartglasses for pilots
The folks at Osterhout Design Group better known for its work building smartglasses, has teamed up with FedEx to develop a potentially life-saving wearable for pilots and their passengers. The hybrid smartglasses and oxygen mask system known as SAVED (Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display) aims to help pilots to maintain visibility if the cockpit should ever become smoke-filled. Using data from the aircraft's HUD and external cameras, the SAVED wearable could prove vital in emergency landing scenarios.
AR and VR content hits 3.2 billion 2017
After looking to the future of all things VR and AR hardware, analytics firm IHS Markit revealed that the global market for VR and AR apps and content grew significantly in 2017. It also suggests that the consumer AR market is better positioned than the VR one to be a bigger success.
"A smartphone-driven AR market offers a huge addressable audience, but this scale will be offset to an extent by the more limited use cases for handheld and small-screen dedicated AR experiences. Even so, consumer AR's overall market potential will significantly outweigh VR over the next five years," said Piers Harding-Rolls, research and analysis director, IHS Markit.
Other insights from the firm included a significant increase in location-based VR venues in 2018 while games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Fallout 4 VR helped stimulate interest in VR in 2017. It also expects standalone versions of VR headsets to help give the VR market a substantial boost in 2018.
Play this: The Incredible VR Game Show
Okay, if you look past the cringe trailer, The Incredible VR Game Show is a great way to share the VR gaming love. With 10 mini games included, the Vive and Oculus Rift-compatible title includes local multiplayer support with a spectator mode so everyone can see how good (or terrible) you're doing. It currently costs less than $5 to own it and you can download it from Steam now.
Watch this: Blind
It's not our usual 360-degree video instalment, but we think this teaser trailer for a game heading to the PSVR, Rift and Vive is well worth a look. Blind is a psychological thriller where users are blind and have to use echolocation (using reflected sound to locate objects). It's landing for the Rift and Vive first in the spring before making its way onto PlayStation's VR headset later in 2018.
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