The Face Race Continues – 20 Companies Now Developing Virtual Reality Headsets

Although Oculus, Samsung and Sony garner the most media attention with respect to forthcoming product launches of Consumer Virtual Reality headsets (HMDs), they need to be looking over their respective shoulders – the Face Race continues to build momentum.

This week Oculus began shipping their DK2 (the second iteration of the Oculus Developer Kit) and more news came to market with respect to Samsung and their Gear VR product.

But don’t forget about the little guys! There’s a raft of start-ups looking to muscle in on the market for low-cost consumer virtual reality devices (along with other co’s developing augmented reality headsets) and they’re shown below. Since our last update we’ve added the Sensics dSight, the NEO from Shadows and Light and the FOVE.

Broadly speaking these VR HMD Manufacturers can be split into two groups – those that incorporate a built-in screen and those that rely on a third-party mobile device to provide the visual experience. Shown below is an extract from our Hardware Radar showing companies in this market by launch stage.

Will all of these companies get their products to market? Unlikely. Due to a combination of factors such as

  • Lack of funding: Some are using Kickstarter whilst others are seeking other sources of finance.
  • Manufacturing inexperience: Many of these companies have not manufactured products before.
  • Ecosystem challenges: The headset itself is largely a means to an end – you need games, apps and experiences to engage with once you have a headset. All of these need investment over and above manufacturing.
  • Timing: From a strategic perspective we expect 2015 to be a year of ‘racing for market share’. Some of the start-ups at the back of the pack will most likely miss the boat.
  • M&A Activity: Some of these companies will not reach the point of bringing their HMD product to market because they’ll be acquired pre-launch.

Our updated and recently published Market Sizing evaluation of the Consumer Virtual Reality market provides a forecast in terms of the number of HMDs available in the market. We anticipate eight companies to have products in this market in 2015, rising to 12 by 2016. Consolidation commences from 2017 onwards.

Related articles:

VR Hardware Revenues

VR Software Revenues

Further information: