Making Money in Augmented Reality

Making Money in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology lays digital information and images over a real-life environment when they are viewed on a mobile device. It may sound new to you, but the technology has been there for over half a century. Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, invented the 3-D machine in 1962 which combined film with sensory stimuli creating an immersive environment. In the ‘90s Tom Caudell, a researcher, came up with the name “augmented reality” to refer to the graphical overlays that were used by technicians in the Boeing aircraft.

 The technology was refined to be used on smart devices in 2016 and advertiser interest to reach mobile consumers keeps growing. The interest to reach consumers digitally proves augmented reality useful in interaction and attraction of customers.

Augmented reality incorporates 3-D digital images into real world locations. Companies that specialize in digital marketing maintain that businesses will be more interested in adding promotions and advertisements in public spaces during events. A few more examples of AR promotional images are life-sized virtual furniture, cars, and electronics.

Companies can reach customers by using AR to enable them to view products more closely without going to the store. IKEA, a furniture retailer, released an app in addition to its print catalog. As a buyer browses the catalog they can look at 3-D photos of the furniture. Virtual images are also available to allow them to see whether an individual piece can fit in their space. 

With AR some online stores don’t even need to have a physical retail space. Shoppers can just have a look at the store’s virtual image and even make their orders by tapping their phone screens.

Search engine results combined with maps may help someone find products in their local area. However, most people cannot read maps correctly. Augmented reality apps are replacing the use of maps by allowing people to find what they need by imagery of their environment in real time. 

Companies are always competing for advertising space. AR eliminates this problem because companies can show virtual banners in a real-time environment. Graphically overlaying the location of a business offering discounts and coupons might grab a potential buyer’s attention. 

Augmented Reality has been in existence for a very long time, only now it is more advanced. With the improvements, anyone can make money from it with a small amount of capital.  With the fantastic and convenient methods of advertising, you don’t need to compete for billboard space anymore.

Companies like Oculus Rift and Magic Leap spend tons of money in building their VR products.  VR startups are also raising millions through angel investors and venture capitalists. This leaves many people asking whether there are any opportunities in VR for small businesses and individuals with little or no capital. The answer is yes. There are several options for making money in VR without having to break the bank. 

VR pop-ups and theatres are mushrooming all around the globe attracting both customers and attention. You will need a significant amount of capital to buy equipment then find a suitable venue. When you have everything ready, set up a pop-up movie theatre for people to come and enjoy 360 photos by great photographers and videos with VR headsets. Alternatively, you can create a try-out studio for them to experience HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Charge them for entertainment, and you will have profits flowing in.

Virtual reality headsets are quite expensive. HTC Vive units cost as much as $800 while Oculus Rift sells for $600. That said; virtual reality headsets are less of a necessity and more of a luxury item. 

However, that is how it all began for personal computers and smartphones. With Virtual reality headsets costing an arm and a leg, you could buy a few of them and rent them out together with PCs. Your target market will be those that are curious to try out VR but cannot afford the equipment. 

Google Cardboard is probably the most used virtual reality technology because compared to other more advanced headsets; it is far much cheaper. Nevertheless, it comes with several shortcomings; it needs an extra strap, it is not convenient to wear, and it does not last long. A great business venture would be to purchase the headsets wholesale and re-sell them at a retail store or Amazon for profit.

New and exciting topics sell. Virtual reality is new and stimulating. You can start a blog or YouTube channel and share experiences and information about the VR world and review latest products, games, movies, exhibitions, latest technology or observe conferences. When you gain a significant following, you can monetize it.

Consider making a host local meet-up conference, lectures, fares, events or any other VR-related social gathering. Once you have a sizable audience and your brand has grown, you can invite companies specializing in VR products and advertisers.

Companies are using millions to create new entertainment in the VR world and make the technology even more fascinating every day. But you can take advantage of what already exists and use it to create your own small VR business. Start a blog or YouTube channel, create arcade experiences, rent out VR headsets or just build a VR community—whatever works for you. Make money as you make other people happy by bringing virtual reality closer to them.

People have been waiting for VR to take off for years and they have been met with disappointment—until recently. A lot of evidence is now promising a bright future for VR but investors should be knowledgeable about several things before diving in; like what the risks are, how big the market is going to be, why this strategy should be played out in the long term and who the key players are. 

Here is what you should know before investing in VR.

According to Grand View Research estimates, the global VR market might be worth $48.5 billion by 2025. That is just the top-end estimation, other estimates range from $7.5-22.5 billion. A year ago, the VR market was worth only $1.8 billion, which implies that VR is destined to grow largely.

Anyone looking to invest in VR should know that the technology is likely to take more time before it takes off, especially because virtual reality hardware is very expensive.  Remember when Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus launched the high-end Rift headset. The device was priced at $599 and its Touch controllers at $199. That was too costly for most consumers and Oculus had to reduce the price of the VR package twice. It is now priced at $399 for both the controllers and headsets. 

But still, not many people have an extra $400 to buy VR equipment so for a while, these prices will bar many potential consumers from high-end VR tech. Moreover, this high-end equipment needs a lot of processing power in order to provide high quality graphics with low latency (for the virtual environment to move smoothly as the user moves). 

There are many investment avenues in VR for an investor to choose from. For example, an investor interested in chipmakers can invest in NVIDIA, which makes GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). 53% of NVIDIA’s revenue is generated by the gaming segment which makes the corporation a key player in the VR space. 

There is also Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google, for anyone looking for solid software and hardware.

NVIDIA, Facebook and Google are not the only players in VR. There are other companies that are looking to venture into VR for more growth. Sony (NYSE:SNE) acquired an advantage in the console market when it launched its PlayStation VR headsets that are compatible with the current versions of PlayStation 4. 

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has also made moves expressing their interest in VR. 

Many companies involving themselves in VR are also getting involved in AR. Augmented reality is so much entwined into VR and both of them might be of great benefit to investors. Google has invested greatly in VR but it also re-launched the Google Glass device.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, it might take VR five to ten years to completely take off. If a tech billionaire is investing for the long haul, then you should consider playing the long game with VR investments as well. 

All of the companies above are not betting entirely on VR and they are not earning any significant profit from it at the moment. But they have all created a long-term strategy to benefit later. Investors should copy that approach.   

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