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Virtual Reality Review: Technology To Gain More Traction In 2017

By Adie Pie , Dec 23, 2016 02:22 AM EST
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This year was big for virtual reality if the number of players that entered the field is any indication. Companies such as Oculus, HTC, Samsung, Google, and Sony all entered the ring and successfully released stellar devices that provide users an experience of virtual reality. But despite the notable ways in which the technology has been carried out, there is definite room for improvement and 2017 will only prove this.

The general public did not really get an opportunity to get its hands on virtual reality until Oculus released the Rift earlier this year. But as PC World notes, it was amazing when it was finally released. And it was from that release that other companies learned what was necessary, what worked and what did not.

The Oculus Rift provided that VR experience that it promised, but it was limited in terms of what could be done. It was a seated experience and users could look around and feel like they were somewhere else. However, it did not give owners the chance to interact with its environment and actually feel present in it.

So when the HTC Vive hit the market, which included tracking stations and VR controllers, the field was changed yet again. Users could wander around a virtual world of their choosing and somehow touch things. It was a far cry from the stationary experience that the Oculus Rift provided and the two were released one after the other.

But these powerhouses required powerhouses to work. Neither the Oculus Rift nor the HTC Vive could power up without it being paired with really powerful hardware. Only the latest computers were compatible with the wearables and that hurt its sales. And the devices themselves were hefty to purchase. The Rift cost US$600, while the Vive was priced at US$800.

But then other companies started to get in the mix, such as Google, Samsung, and Sony. Google's Daydream only needed the Pixel or Pixel XL handheld to work and was portable. The same deal was with the Samsung Gear VR, which worked with the recent Samsung smartphones. Sony, however, was stationary and had to be tethered to a PlayStation 4.

It was a great year for virtual reality all in all and the public had the pleasure of the technology morphing into something that was more attainable and consumer-friendly. But like all other fields of tech, VR is not going to stop anytime soon. In fact, 2017 is shaping up to have a few positive surprises up its sleeve. As CNBC notes, several market players are already looking at what company should be invested on for next year.

Trader Guy Adami suspects that Facebook, which owns Oculus, would be the best bet within virtual reality. However, this does not necessarily mean that investors should load up on stocks of the company. Trade David Seaburg, instead suggests investments in chip stocks, like that of Qualcomm. He admits that VR is young, but that it will catch on. But at this point, it is too early to declare what company is leading the pack.

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