As we start 2016, there is only one question on everyone's mind - at least according to my Twitter stream. Will 2016 be THE breakout, succesful year for virtual reality? While there are different defintions of what success for VR will look like, there are a few key indicators we can pay attention to.
Will total investment in virtual reality exceed $1 billion in 2016? Last year, investors poured over half a billion dollars into VR companies (downloadable report here). Total investment is a leading indicator for future VR activity and a gauge of how strongly investors feel about the tech. If we don't see a big bump in investment this year, VR has a few slow years ahead of it.
1 Million Units
Will each of the HMD's ship at least 1 million units? Oculus, HTC, Sony, and Samsung will all be aiming for the million-mark, and expect the media to crucify any company that doesn't hit that. Samsung is off to a strong start having already sold out online, and the other companies are also well-positioned to hit those sales numbers.
Will the total number of VR startups/companies exceed 1,000 in 2016? According to Greenlight VR, there were over 160 new VR startups created last year. This will have to more than double to over 300 new startups in 2016 for us to hit 1,000, but as the technology gets better, it should be drawing in more entreprenuers.
Will the average cost per HMD sold (including everything from Cardboard to the Vive) be over or under $100? This is an important indicator because it will show us whether people skew towards mobile or desktop VR, and how price senstive they are to this new tech.
Who will win the inaugrual HMD race? We already know who the frontrunners are, but whoever wins the number one spot this year will be in a great position to dictate the direction of VR going forward.
So what do you think 2016 holds in store for VR? Will we crush these milestones?