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Why Are Apple And Facebook Making Big Bets On Virtual Reality?


After acquiring Oculus Rift, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) recently announced that it is working on creating virtual reality apps, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was also recently issued a patent for a virtual reality headset.

Tom's Guide Editor-in-Chief Mark Spoonauer was on CNBC recently to discuss why these Silicon Valley majors are making a big bet on virtual reality.

Do You See Demand For Virtual Reality Apps And Products?

“We are still very early in the game in terms of virtual reality, but you have a lot of players entering the arena,” Spoonauer said.

“Samsung has its own Gear VR headset that’s out and at first they are saying, 'Well, this is just a prototype device,' but everyone who has seen it and have tried it on have been blown away because you could be watching a concert, look around you and it gives you a 360 degree, fully immersive view of everything from concerts to movies to games.”

“So, now it’s about how do you deliver apps that are going to keep people interested beyond that novelty factor.”

When Do You Think These Apps Will Be Available?

“Facebook hasn’t provided a timeline, but they are talking about giving apps not just to developers, but to people to allow them to upload content and giving people a fully immersive view,” Spoonauer replied.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see something toward the end of the year.”

Related Link: Immersis Brings Virtual Reality To The Living Room

Why Apple Is Taking Virtual Reality So Seriously?

“I think they have a couple of advantages,” Spoonauer said. “One is that they have a huge advantage when it comes to content. They have their App Store as well as iTunes. So, imagine them being enabled to have content developers create virtual reality experiences for their users.”

He added, “I say the content ecosystem gives them a heads up over other players including Samsung. What’s funny about this patent is that it was issued in 2008. So, just a year after the iPhone came out. So, this has been long-term in terms of development…I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come out with something maybe as early as 2016.”


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