Research firm Gartner predicts bright future for VR hardware

gartner predicts vr growth over 2016 and 2017 virtual reality
Jeffery Van Camp/Digital Trends
With companies like Sony, Oculus and HTC all getting their virtual reality projects off the ground, it certainly seems like the time is right for this technology to hit the mainstream. Now, noted market research firm Gartner is predicting that VR hardware will see major growth over the course of 2016 and 2017.

Gartner is suggesting that 1.4 million units of VR and AR hardware will be shipped over the course of 2016 — a considerable uptick compared to the 140,000 units sold last year. The company expects this trend to continue, with 6.3 million units anticipated to ship in 2017.

However, this positive forecast is not without its caveats. Brian Blau, a research director at Gartner, noted that the firm is “cautious that it won’t take off as fast as other technologies like smartphones” in an interview with PC World.

This stance can be attributed to the hefty price tags being attached to the hardware, not to mention the fact that most headsets require a beefy computer or gaming console to function. There’s also the question of whether content producers will be able to create compelling experiences.

There’s a chicken-and-egg issue with VR, in that it’s a very expensive endeavor for both developers and consumers. A lack of content means that audiences won’t see value in the hardware, and a small install base will discourage studios from creating content tailored to the tech.

For the moment, the large part of this content is entertainment, with plenty of crossover from the video game industry. However, Gartner has predicted that business implementation will make up a quarter of VR and AR usage by 2018.

We’ll know more about how the VR boom is set to play out as the first wave of hardware hits consumers in the coming months. The HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR are all expected to launch in 2016.

Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best tech gear and gadgetry that survived Shark Tank

The television show "Shark Tank" has churned out quite a few strange, interesting, and downright awesome products -- so we rounded up some of the best ones for your perusal. Enjoy!