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新眼球革命 顛覆產業 (2017-08-08 IEK產業情報網 )

Since the announcement of the first head-mounted device, The Sword of Damocles in 1968, created by the Father of computer graphics, Professor Ivan Sutherland and considered as the beginning of Virtual Reality (VR) devices, there has been nearly half a century of development of relevant technologies. Compared to current technology, that VR device was quite cumbersome due to the technological constraints in hardware available at that time. The device could not be used or worn by a user without a specially constructed support frame suspended from the ceiling. The current development paradigm in VR headset technology not only substantially reduces the weight, but also demonstrates great advancements in video display quality and human-computer interaction interface.
The main business battlefield of current VR devices is in the realm of games, where pc-connected VR devices still provide the best experience and are considered to be the best business opportunity. According to the statistics, there were about 1.2 billion games users worldwide in 2016, out of which more than 1 billion users are smartphone games users. Currently, game players (hardcore gamers, in particular) are the major customers of VR devices. In many international games shows, it is common to see hardcore gamers lining up in front of gaming booths, hoping to get an immersive experience through virtual reality.
The cost for current mainstream VR devices is about US$500 to US$800, with an additional cost for desktop computers equipped with an NV970-class graphics card or better, or gaming laptops (about US$1,000). Because hardcore gamers are more focused on the experience of presence and have lower price-sensitivity, they are the most important consumer group at the moment. Oculus, Sony and Samsung have all developed their own VR products; following their examples, software developers are also developing relevant game applications. It is expected that overall VR equipment costs will continuously reduce, and that VR will gradually become popular with general gamers, and become the mainstream game equipment in internet cafes and other gaming sites.
In addition, mobile phone and wearable devices are playing an important role in VR game applications. For example, "Pokemon Go", "Ingress", and other games, co-developed by mobile phone developers, Nintendo, Niantic, and Game Freak, have created huge business opportunities.
The rapid growth of the commercial AR market is attracting a large volume of venture capital investment. According to the estimates of Digi-Capital, there was a total of US$2.3 billion of venture capital investment injected into the VR/AR realm in the past 12 months; the capital invested into AR/VR start-ups in the third quarter of 2016, was US$500 million.
In addition to the hardware development aspect of AR/VR head-mounted displays attracting venture capital investment, service software applications, such as games software and advertising/business marketing applications, are also attracting keen investment interest from companies like Softbank, Amazon, and Alibaba among others.
The highest output value of software content is in game applications. It is estimated that, by 2020, the output value of VR games will reach US$10 billion. It is also estimated that, by 2020, AR / VR hardware output value will be less than half of the overall industry output, overtaken by new e-commerce models, advertising revenue and mobile data/voice revenue, which shows that there are huge business opportunities in the commercial market.
Compared to the fierce business competition of the gaming market, the business opportunities for VR in the realms of entertainment, education, tourism, sports and others are also blooming. For example, YouVisit is a marketing platform that produces 360-degree panoramic videos for popular attractions, commercial cruises and luxury hotels. These are used to attract potential visitors, where users can enjoy the beauty of Paris or even overlook New York City from a helicopter via this platform. Suppliers of such platforms are changing the video marketing methods traditionally adopted by travel agencies and the tourism industry. To film a VR travel video, a photographer must shoot the sights from different angles, and then stitch these shots together into continuous images from the various angles in the post production process to complete an "immersive" video.
The costly VR photography of the past is rapidly becoming less expensive. For example: "Google Jump", co-created by Google and GoPro, has 16 synchronized GoPro cameras built into a device that creates a complete VR recording/production system; "Project Beyond", by Samsung, can also stream continuous video captures. In the future, VR photography will no longer be exclusive to professional vendors.

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