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2020 VR

In the next three years, we’ll stumble through several cycles of excitement and disillusionment with AR/VR. But in 2020, it will all click. AR/VR will deliver sports fans thrilling new experiences in viewing, gaming and training.

  • 160 million VR headsets will have been sold by 2020.

  • 65 million of those will be sold in 2020 alone.

  • By comparison:
    Playstation 2 sold 155 million units

  • By comparison:
    A billion iphones have been sold

  • By comparison:
    1.6 billion households worldwide have televisions

  • So VR, despite the hype, is not for everyone yet in 2020. It’s like video game consoles—you might not have one, but a friend will.

Watching Sports is Normal

On average, 10% of any viewing audience will wear VR headsets—higher for close-action sports like boxing. VR live streams will have graduated from raw camera feeds to incorporate storytelling devices—commentators, replays and camera toggling. The isolation factor will be somewhat moderated; viewers will be able to talk to friends and family watching the game across the country. More common will be passing around the headset at a viewing party, especially for highlights and replays.

Sports Games Explode

Dropping back to pass in Madden 20 will never have felt so real. Batting practice against the Cy Young winner will thrill. Sports in which one key player dominates the action will come to market first; team sports where every player is equally essential (like soccer) are harder to design. The controller has long been replaced by scanners that track human movements. Players will either confine their movements to a grid, or they’ll balance on curved plates and lean to sprint or cut.

VR Fitness is not a Gimmick

Transport yourself to yoga class from your mat at home. Box against remote sparring partners while your computerized cornerman yells tips. Break away from the peloton on your exercise bike.

Operating System Wars-Part 4

First it was VHS vs. Beta. Then it was PC vs. Mac. Then Android vs. iOS. In 2020, the business press will focus on the great rivalry between Magic Leap and Meta, or whoever owns them. We’ll buy the glasses—and get the phone free. Expect iPhone and Samsung sales numbers to reach over 200 million
sold in 2020.

If VR’s Analog is Game Consoles, AR’s Analog is the Smartphone. The Market is Everyone

The incorporation of long-awaited 5G hyper- connectivity will make these headsets ready for prime time. No longer will you have to be connected to a PC to get 4K graphics; no longer will you suffer a meager field of view to be untethered. New smartphones will connect by a flexible fiber-optic tether to lightweight glasses; many people will rarely check the phone itself, but will still want it there as a security blanket. For others, their phone will still be their primary device; they’ll just wear the glasses while driving.

  • 65M

    VR Headsets Sold in 2020

  • 5G

    Smartphone Connectivity is Here

  • 10%

    Of Any Viewing Audience Wearing VR Headset

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