Over the course of the final 50 years, capital markets have considerably codified a generational mannequin strategy shopper know-how merchandise. New “generations” of merchandise are anticipated to come at a daily tempo and supply elevated options and reliability on the similar costs. But relying upon the product sort, the standard life cycle from one era to the subsequent can range drastically. With the primary wave of VR headsets now obtainable to shoppers, the time will come for the subsequent era to be introduced and ultimately launch. But when?
With no point out of subsequent era headsets from any of the main gamers at CES 2017, I put the query to HTC’s China Regional President of Vive, Alvin Wang Graylin. As the Vice-Chairman of Industry of VR Alliance and President of the VR Venture Capital Alliance, Graylin has a hen’s-eye view not solely on the Vive hardware itself, but in addition on a variety of VR hardware that’s in improvement from each startups and enormous scale enterprise alike.
I requested Graylin how he thought concerning the VR headset improve cycle and its comparability to the early trendy smartphone market, the place the cadence of generational product enhancements was on an almost yearly cycle.
“Instead of looking at just the phone market—which is one type of very rapid consumer product—if you look at the other segment, which is the consoles, they’re about five or six year type of cycles,” he stated. “What I would imagine is that the VR headsets are probably somewhere in between, probably tending closer toward the phone cycles than it is to the console cycles, but it’s definitely not as quick [as the early smartphone era] with the major updates.”
That places the hardware refresh cycle of VR headsets, by Graylin’s estimate, someplace between one and three years. Granted, the eventual cadence of next-generation merchandise (in any business) depends tremendously on the tempo of that business’s R&D efforts.
And whereas the headset’s optics, show, and monitoring may keep the identical all through a hardware era, Graylin says there’s enhancements to be made to the expertise even inside a era, via equipment.
“But what we will do [between cycles] is accessories; the thing that you’re seeing is that we’ve created a good foundational platform for people to build things on. Changing it too quickly will actually make it very difficult for developers, make it difficult for accessory makers and for other types of systems that rely on it.”
The three main headset makers—HTC, Sony, and Oculus—have stated virtually nothing about their plans for subsequent era variations of the headsets. Still, Graylin thinks there’s a number of innovation shortly to come to the younger VR business.
“I think we will have a lot of innovation […] [the speed of innovation] will likely be much faster than what we see for the phone industry,” he stated. “I think Ray Kurzweil said, ‘the first 20 years of the 21st century was as much progress overall as the last 100 years of the 20th century.’ I think that’s the kind of speed we’re going to see; everything accelerates. And VR is the latest, greatest, and probably will be the longest lasting wave of technological revolution.”