Hollywood Gets Real with Cash for VR
When they’re not fending off sex scandals, Hollywood’s heavy-hitters are working feverishly to invest in Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies, according to the Virtual Reality Fund, which tracks investments in the AI sector. Its report on the second half of 2017 found a 79% increase in investments compared to the same period a year ago. The report states that $2.3 billion more was put in to AR and VR than in 2016.
“Global investment in VR and AR is tracking higher than any previous period, and at a more accelerated pace,” said Tipatat Chennavasin, cofounder and general partner at The VR Fund, in a statement. “The VR industry is healthy and growing steadily, and we are seeing increased investor interest from traditional venture funds and new VR and AR-focused funds alike.”
Some of the major investors include Hollwood’s biggest studio names and the ones you might expect to jump on the AR/VR wagon, such as AMC, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, HBO, Netflix, Sony Pictures and Viacom. New experiences for top-earning properties, like Star Wars, will help drive consumer interest in VR over the coming quarters.
The gaming industry is also reported to have a 40% rise of investments. AI is driving the AR/VR engine, and it is at a place that is reminiscent of where the internet was in its infancy. This means the possibilities for growth and financial success are extraordinary.
The VR fund notes that even though companies like Cisco, HP and Accenture entered the VR space over this period, it is small startups in specific sectors that are driving the growth of the industry. In particular, the gaming industry is seeing the price of headsets going down, and demand for them going up at the same time they are raising the quality of the customer’s experience.
Dean Takahashi wrote about the VR Fund for Venture Beat.com and ends his piece with this:
“Major investments in the next-generation reality capture space indicate that the broader market is shifting away from 360-degree video to true VR. Advancements in display technology are largely responsible for the 47 percent growth seen in the tethered head-mounted display category. The report also noted the announcement of new all-in-one, standalone devices, such as the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus. That bodes well for VR in 2018.”