Virtual Reality's Roller Coaster Year
Osterhout Design Group is selling off all remaining assets to pay employees before shutting its doors for good. The once high-flying VR company that sold part of its technology to Microsoft in 2014 for $150M now joins fellow VR companies Blippar and Meta as casualties of the rollercoaster ride that has been the VR / AR market.
VC deal volume has fallen significantly from its late 2017 peak.
However, new technology development has remained level, and even begun to grow in 2018.
The market is beginning to consolidate with entrenched competitors like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Samsung growing their portfolios significantly while other players pull back fail, or are acquired.
Why you should care: The VR / AR market is maturing, not going away. New patents reflect investments that will likely enter the market in 18 - 24 months. Despite a cooling investment climate, entrenched competitors like Facebook, Google, and Apple are betting that consumer demand will increase in that period as current applications mature and new use cases become viable.
More consolidation is likely in the next 18 months as large players jockey for market share. In particular, companies focused on specific applications with strong traction in a given customer set will be attractive targets and will likely command above-market multiples.