This report discusses the landscape for virtual reality (VR) peripherals, which are segmented into four categories: controllers (handheld), suits, gloves, and others. The tethered VR market largely supported controllers from the beginning, but mobile VR, which comprises the largest volume of HMD units, only recently started to benefit from peripherals. Most notably, Samsung and Google Daydream both added support for one controller. The addition of peripherals also marks the gradual shift from the 3DOF to 6DOF movement and increasing support for inside-out tracking.
The addition of 6DOF is critical as experiences become more immersive and more importantly, natural. While software support is a challenge, pricing is also a hurdle that will come down as volumes increase and developer support grows over time. Key market players will drive the general adoption and growth curves of these products, but controllers are anticipated to become mainstream in the VR market by the end of the 5-year forecasting window. Location-based VR and enterprise/commercial applications will also be key drivers for higher priced peripherals since price sensitivities are often lower (experience and performance are key drivers) for these markets.
Haptics, while very limited in today’s market, has tremendous potential to drive the market to new levels of immersion and experiences. The market for haptics is relatively diverse, spanning vibro-tactile actuators and force-feedback to ultrasonics. The development and realization of many of these market elements is critical if the VR market hopes to live up to some lofty expectations that see it as an integral piece of the next-generation platform for computing.
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