Next generation Virtual Reality Headsets Will Usher in a More Immersive Experience

Oyster Bay, New York - 12 Sep 2017

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The worldwide virtual reality (VR) market has been experiencing significant growth with increasing numbers of content launches, consumer and enterprise deployments in entertainment, retail, marketing, and other segments. As the VR adoption rate increases, so does the expectation and requirements of VR head-mounted displays (HMDs). As VR makers continue to improve the level of immersion, ABI Research forecasts that VR HMDs with 6 DOF will represent over 40% of combined mobile and standalone VR market in 2022.

To meet user expectations, VR HMDs have a long way to go in many features including display quality, degree of freedom (DOF), and connectivity. The majority of VR HMDs currently available in the market support only 1080/2K resolution displays -- which need to be greatly improved to solve the screen door effect caused by low resolution displays. New tethered devices with 4K display such as Aukey Cortex and Pimax and the arrival of mobile headsets with 4K display are likely to drive the penetration of high resolution VR devices.

Accuracy in tracking movements is another important feature for an immersive VR experience. Most of the current VR devices support only 3 DOF tracking, with the exception of tethered devices, which are usually targeted for high-end market support 6 DOF. “A 6 DOF is the ideal goal and mobile and standalone VR devices are moving towards 6 DOF tracking to provide a total immersive experience. Mindmaze and uSens have announced 6 DOF position tracking solution for mobile VR devices, and Google announced Worldsense, a standalone VR device with 6 DOF,” notes Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research.

In terms of connectivity, 802.11 n/ac Wi-Fi is supported by mobile and standalone devices. While tethered devices are still connected to a PC or console with a cable, however, a wireless connection is likely to replace the cable connection. For tethered VR and high-resolution VR content, 60 GHz (WiGig) will play important role to support high bandwidth in the years to come. ABI Research expects that WiGig will be mainly deployed in the tethered VR devices which need multi-gigabit connectivity with low latency. Nearly 40% of VR HMDs are expected to support WiGig connectivity in 2022.

These findings are from ABI Research’s VR Technologies Roadmap report. This report is part of the company’s Video, VR & OTT research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.