We are cautiously optimistic that VR is finally about to break big in the U.S… Between the Google-Samsung-Oculus love triangle and the eye-popping investments into Magic Leap, the stage is set.
The Google-Samsung-Oculus Love Triangle
Google‘s Daydream VR platform is taking big steps forward. From inexpensive beginnings with the View, Google, Lenovo, Qualcomm and even HTC are working together to bring WorldSense, Google’s virtual reality tracking tech to standalone headsets.
Daydream had already enabled Google to bring its mobile VR platform to many smartphones, and growing markets overseas in countries like India will certainly help expand their VR horizons.
Yet, at Google’s I/O Developer conference, Google announced that Daydream would be made available on the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, making these phones the first to be compatible with both Daydream and Gear VR- much to the chagrin of Samsung’s Gear VR partner, Oculus.
In effect, Oculus no longer has an exclusive mobile VR partner.
According to RoadtoVR, Gear VR has lead the mobile VR market with an install base of over 5 million units and over 1 million active users per month.Magic Leap Series D Investment will push valuation to $6-8 billion USD.Click To Tweet
Those are impressive numbers for a market that just hasn’t performed very well in the U.S.
Yet, Google and Samsung also have a longstanding partnership with Android OS devices. When you consider the business Samsung has garnered from their Android devices, Gear VR seems like small fries.
Daydream still has a long way to go to contend with the VR content library of Oculus.
However, now that Daydream will be available on a whole host of phones and standalone devices while Gear VR is constrained to Samsung, it is likely that VR content developers will design new content for both platforms.
Combined with the fact that HTC will be creating headsets for Daydream instead of competing with the mobile VR platform, Oculus likely has some hard days ahead.
Regardless, if Magic Leap ends up anything like the funding would indicate, all three of these companies could be in for a major game change.The Google-Samsung-Oculus Love Triangle could turn sour. Click To Tweet
Magic Leap Series D Investment
Albeit mixed reality and not truly virtual reality, you have to imagine that these two experiences (Magic Leap and current mobile VR) are mutually exclusive, at least for one user at one time. Which one would you choose?
Of course, we don’t really know what Magic Leap is yet aside from some pretty mind blowing teasers.
What we’ve seen reminds us of some Microsoft Hololens-esque AR but with what seems like an entire world’s worth of intriguing content from entertainment to business productivity apps.
If you’ve been following the development of veiled bride Magic Leap, you may have heard that they attracted a massive early series investment of $1.4 billion USD, including almost $800 million USD in the first round.
That’s already well over the $1 billion USD investment threshold that affords startups a “Unicorn” status.
Now, however, Alibaba leads the Series D investment for Magic Leap, which Backchannel’s Jessi Hempel says will push the startup’s valuation to somewhere between $6-8 billion USD.
To add to the hype and excitement, Ricky Gervais says that Magic Leap will “Change the world.”