How the Stock Market is Showing Faith in Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
One-year price performance for MSFT, AAPL, GOOGL, SNE, and NVDA
According to the latest report from Statista, the global augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) markets are rapidly growing and are forecast to reach a total of $72.8 billion by 2024, a five-year CAGR increase of 54%.
Given the rapid growth of the AR/VR industry and the accelerated adaptation of AR/VR technologies in almost every major business sectors (think retail, healthcare, education, travel, fashion, entertainment, real estate, workplace, sports, law enforcement, and more), the stock market is now betting BIG on AR/VR, demonstrating faith in many public companies operating in the space. Here are just some of the tech stocks many are looking at right now (in no particular order):
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
For the people who brought you the Hololens 2, probably the most sophisticated pair of mixed reality smart glasses out there to date. Microsoft’s smart glasses are now used as an enterprise solution by many companies around the world.
One-year price performance for MSFT as of 2/3/20
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
As we previously detailed in depth, Apple has been discreetly working on a number of AR/VR products for several years now and is planning to release its own AR smart glass and AR/VR hybrid headset. Apple has acquired a number of companies in this space throughout the years, including Metaio, Flyby Media, Vrvana, Akonia Holographics, NextVR, and Camerai. It is clear that Apple working diligently to become a big player in the AR/VR space.
Apple is also the owner of ARKit, a developer tool used by iOS developers to build mobile AR apps and games for iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. Apple also prides itself by the fact that all its latest devices, such as the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are AR-compatible and incorporate a LiDAR scanner.
One-year price performance for AAPL as of 2/3/20
Facebook, Inc. (FB)
Facebook is the owners of Oculus Quest, the current gold standard when it comes to VR headsets. In its recent Facebook Connect event (which the echoAR team covered here) Facebook made a number announcements that cement its place as a leader in the AR/VR space. In addition to releasing Oculus Quest 2, Facebook spent $150 million on content for the device (to bring you VR games from brands like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Star Wars, Jurassic World, and Medal of Honor). Facebook also officially reveled that they have partnered with eyewear manufacturers Ray-Ban and Luxottica to create their own apir of AR glasses. Facebook also showcased Facebook Horizons, its growing social VR world which is gaining more and more users each day.
Facebook is also the owner of Spark AR, a creator studio that allows creators to build face filters and AR experiences for Facebook and Instagram.
One-year price performance for FB as of 2/3/20
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG)
Google Glass wasn’t the consumer wearable revolution about which Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was dreaming. But it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a big step for AR smart glasses. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition, aimed at businesses and enterprise-level clients, is now used by many manufacturing and logistics companies around the world. Last year, Google also acquired North, an AR smart glass manufactures.
Google has incorporated AR/VR technology in many of its offerings, including adding a VR mode in YouTube and an AR mode in Google Map, and has made sure that its Google Pixel smartphones are all AR-compatible and include Google Lens functionality. Google also offers ARCore, a developer tool for Android, iOS, Unreal, and Unity which help integrate AR elements into the real environment.
One-year price performance for GOOG and GOOGL as of 2/3/20
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Snap Inc. (SNAP)
Last year, echoAR covered a lot of exciting news that came out of the Snap Partner Summit. Snapchat is used by more than 250 million active user who engage with AR filters on a daily basis. Snap’s Lens Studio allows creators to unleash their creativity and create interactive AR experiences, while business can advertise with unique Lens Ads.
One-year price performance for SNAP as of 2/3/20
Sony Corp. (SNE)
Sony is the owner of the PlayStation console and, PlayStation VR, its accompanying VR headset. With a collection of over 200 games (many of them exclusive), a movie-watching mode and a social share-screen option, the PSVR is a market leader in the VR gaming world. The headset was sold separately in the past but today it is bundled with two PlayStation Move motion controllers, the PlayStation Camera and two games. All eyes are now on Sony’s next console, the PS5, and what it would offer in terms of gaming for the PSVR headset.
One-year price performance for SNE as of 2/3/20
The engine behind may of the VR headsets and AR devices you know and love. Qualcomm is one of the biggest manufactures of chipsets and processing units and produces many of the key components found in VR headsets such as Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2. With 5G technology expected to drastically improve AR/VR experiences, Qualcomm’s hardware, such as the Snapdragon XR2 chipset platform, is destined to play a major role in the future of AR/VR.
One-year price performance for QCOM as of 2/3/20
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)
Another market leader in the chip development industry without whom VR won’t be what it is today. Nvidia’s graphics processing units and other hardware is an integral part of many VR headsets such as the Valve Index and the HTC Vive and Nvidia offers a plethora of software tools to help developers build VR applications.
One-year price performance for NVDA as of 2/3/20
Unity Software Inc (U)
Unity is one of the most popular 3D game development platforms out there and has been used to create popular AR/VR games, such as Pokémon Go, Hearthstone, and Rimworld. The Unity game engine is A top choice for game developers, designers, and artists and is compatible with many other platforms supporting the creating of AR/VR applications, including echoAR.
One-year price performance for U as of 2/3/20
echoAR (http://www.echoAR.xyz; Techstars ’19) is a cloud platform for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that provides tools and server-side infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy AR/VR apps and experiences.
DISCLAIMER: Do not base any investment decision on any materials found in this article. Nothing in this article should be treated as an advice or recommendation with respect to the buying or selling of any securities. This blog post has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a complete source of information on any particular company. A person should never invest in the securities of any of the companies mentioned above based solely on information contained in this article. A person who chooses to invest in any securities should do so with caution. Investing in securities is speculative and carries a high degree of risk. All investors should conduct their own independent research into individual stocks before making an investment decision and should note that past stock performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation.