Head mounted displays are wearable three dimensional displays for information viewing applications. Head mounted displays were introduced in the 1960s as an entertainment device for directly streaming movies. Since then the functionality and capabilities of these devices have grown resulting in a device with a wide range of applications and utilizations. The major type of head mounted display utilized in the market in recent years is based on an LCD/ OLED screen utilized to display images and other information. However the major growth is forecast in utilization of head mounted displays for augmented reality and virtual reality applications.
Virtual and augmented reality based head mounted devices contain an OLED/LCD screen along with several sensors including for eye tracking and multi focus plane capabilities. These sensors and tracking solutions provide an interactive experience paving the way for virtual reality applications. The demand for virtual reality services and solutions have propelled the innovation in this market and led to a number of leading electronics companies looking into this market. Oculus V.R Inc. has been among the leading propellers of head mounted displays in augmented reality and have significantly raised awareness regarding these devices. A number of leading consumer electronics companies such as Samsung and HTC have launched their VR head mounted display devices. Companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple are also set to launch their own head mounted displays for VR and AR applications in the near future. Both Google and Facebook recently acquired leading players in this market with Google acquiring Magic Leap for $542 million and Facebook acquiring Oculus for $2 billion. The growing venture into VR has resulted in increased R&D investment growing capabilities of head mounted displays and is set to be a major driver for this market.
Gaming and entertainment industries are the major proponent of VR technology. A number of leading head mounted display devices have been primarily launched for this segment. This penetration of virtual reality has resulted in increased utilization of head mounted displays in this market. The entry of leading gaming companies such as Valve, Unity and Razer into this consumer space has also resulted in increased awareness leading to growing adoption. Even with gaming and entertainment being the major market for VR currently; a number of leading companies have focused on utilization encompassing a number of applications. The medical sector will be a major market for these devices as utilization of VR head mounted displays for diagnostics and surgery will rise with the launch of products with competent capabilities. The aerospace and defense sectors will also be major markets for usage of these devices for training applications.
However in the current VR head mounted display devices on the market, there are some drawbacks hindering the growth. The display latency associated with these devices needs to be trimmed down in order for the devices to have increased penetration in the aerospace and defence sectors in particular. The major drawback for these devices is related to the resolution of these head mounted displays. The low pixel count in head mounted displays has resulted in low resolution images. However most companies are looking to combat this with R&D being spent on improving the pixel count. With these restraints being overcome, the market for head mounted displays for virtual reality applications will grow at a significant rate across a number of applications.