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Virtual Reality (VR) Augmented Reality

Augmented and virtual reality 'just got real' with investment up by $1.7bn this year


By Laurie Fullerton, Freelance Writer

May 16, 2016 | 2 min read

Augmented and virtual reality (AV/VR) has received a substantial boost and, 'just got real' with estimated investment soaring to $1.7bn overall in the past 12 months. Additionally, according to AV/VR strategists Digi-Capital, investment in AV/VR is 25 times higher than it was in 2014, with an increase of $1.2bn in just the first quarter of this year.

One of the most attractive 'unicorns' is the highly-coveted Florida-based company Magic Leap. Magic Leap, dubbed a “cinematic startup” company, backed by Google, is considered the future of augmented reality and has raised over $1bn from high-profile investors. Although its potential is still uncertain, when it finally arrives on the market, it is meant to herald the death of TV and mobile phone screens for good — and is being lauded as 'the headset that will kill off screens in general'.

The report notes that even without including Magic Leap, investment in augmented and virtual reality is 45 per cent higher than the previous quarter. Areas of investment include AR/VR hardware, video, solutions/services, games, advertising/marketing, consumer apps, distribution, tech and peripherals.

The report continues to cite that both the USA and China have become focused on developing a market — and four 'unicorns', a tech startup company that reaches a $1bn dollar market value as determined by private or public investment, include Magic Leap ($4.5bn), Oculus ($2bn), Blippar ($1.5bn) and Mindmaze ($1bn). With heavy investment in AR/VR coming from companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Samsung, the report also notes there is growing investment from the hardware, video, applications, games and solutions services sector, offering a blend of enterprise value and interest.

With increased investor competition across the board, the report notes that Sand Hill investors, referencing an arterial road in Menlo Park, California known for its concentration of venture capital companies, are investing heavily in AV/VR.

Virtual Reality (VR) Augmented Reality

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