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Goldman Sachs: VR and AR "Will Be The Next Generation Computing Platform" Worth $80 Billion By 2025 ( 133

An anonymous reader writes: As consumer VR headsets from major players like Facebook, Sony, HTC and Valve head to the market this year, the mainstream consumer market is beginning to catch sight of the technology's potential. Prestigious investment bank Goldman Sachs calls augmented reality and virtual reality "the next generation computing platform" and forecasts an $80 billion market by 2025. "We think this technology has the potential to transform how we interact with almost every industry today, and we think it will be equally transformative both from a consumer and an enterprise perspective," says Heather Bellini, Business Unit Leader in Telecommunications, Media and Technology at Goldman Sachs. "At the end of the day we think VR and AR will be as transformation as the smartphone market."
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Goldman Sachs: VR and AR "Will Be The Next Generation Computing Platform" Worth $80 Billion By 2025

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  • nope (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ghinckley68 ( 590599 ) <> on Monday February 15, 2016 @06:38AM (#51510083) Homepage

    VR is 3D going no where just a big money pit for wall street to collect cash in.

    • Re:nope (Score:5, Funny)

      by saigon_from_europe ( 741782 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @06:43AM (#51510091)

      VR is 3D going no where just a big money pit for wall street to collect cash in.

      No, it will be huge market, like... 3D TV!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I can see pedestrians walking with these on straight into oncoming traffic - like the iPhone only worse.
        Finally a chance for pickpockets and thieves to make an honest living.
        And it TV is the idiot box, this will be the ultimate in creating a new generation of new breed, socially inept of idiots.
        Obesity will thrive - no need to get up top change channels.
        Girls wearing tight skimpy clothing - well your job just got a lot harder. I bet the first no-clothes on App is a real winner.

      • Re:nope (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @07:20AM (#51510171)

        Heh, was just coming to say the same thing. VR is cool enough, but I think it's just too gimmicky to catch on as a mainstream thing. Maybe for console games it would work, since you can sit down and play relatively hands-free.

        Honestly, I think augmented reality has a much better chance at going mainstream, eventually when it gets to the point that they can hide the electronics and projected viewports in normal-sized glasses reasonably cheaply - because you know they'll eventually get there. At that point, we have a chance at moving away from physical user interfaces. And consider how useful digital information overlaid on top of the real world could be in many situations. Think about how much better computer-based navigation would work with an actual heads-up display, and if you're walking, actual cues embedded in the real world.

        And entertainment: How fun would it be to play a game of Star Wars-style holo battlechess with a friend? Thanks to the internet, you wouldn't even have to be in the same physical location. For kids: what about a ghost-hunting game that turns your own house into the playfield, or perhaps a laser-tag style wargame that takes place in the back yard? Computer games wouldn't have to exclude exercise.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          What you say may well be true, but what is really cool is having a job at Goldman-Sachs where you get to spout random crap like this while your company rakes in billions of dollars stealing from its customers. The downside is the overhead of buying off all those politicians.
        • Something like 30% of the population needs glasses and refuses to get and or wear them as they think glasses make them look ugly.

          I have always worn glasses, however when I can read better without glasses both near and far, than a lot of people, something is wrong.

          Ar might be okay when stuck in sun glasses, I see it in helments and goggles too. Even a multi billion dollar industry, but every day wear. It won't be wide spread. To many refuse to wear things on their face

          • Re:nope (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @08:28AM (#51510299)

            Fashion is fickle. If augmented reality takes off, future fashion might dictate that eyewear is now the new cool/sexy, especially if it's built into nice-looking headgear that also functions as sunglasses when outdoors - lots of people don't mind wearing those. Agreed that it's a very big if, though.

            Also, since when the hell do we listen to Goldman-Sachs as a purveyor of future tech trends? It's not like Wall Street is known for it's far-sightedness (no pun on corrective eyewear intended).

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              I don't think everyone's reasons are as shallow as fashion. I used to wear glasses but stopped because it was just a plain hassle for not much benefit. I was 20/40 vision growing up and my family had me wear glasses. When I started living on my own, I skipped it. I had a eye test years later and said I know my vision is off, but just don't want to bother with glasses, to which they replied 'no, your eyesight is fine'.

              • Re:nope (Score:4, Insightful)

                by ranton ( 36917 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @10:11AM (#51510731)

                I don't think everyone's reasons are as shallow as fashion. I used to wear glasses but stopped because it was just a plain hassle for not much benefit.

                Augmented reality will certainly fix the "not much benefit" part of your problem. I may not be able to see all of the benefits augmented reality will bring, but then again I thought smartphones were a silly luxury item in 2007. Augmented reality will just be this decades version of the smartphone when it comes to enhancing peoples' interface with technology.

            • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

              Fashion is fickle. If augmented reality takes off, future fashion might dictate that eyewear is now the new cool/sexy, especially if it's built into nice-looking headgear that also functions as sunglasses when outdoors - lots of people don't mind wearing those. Agreed that it's a very big if, though.

              Fashion is too fickle, to be honest, because only a few years ago, people were getting faux-glasses because it gave them the "geek chic" look that was desirable at the time. And by faux-glasses, I mean glasses w

      • Perfect for games. I've always wanted this ever since ASUS V3800 [] included LCD shutter glasses with the nVidia TNT2. I played Unreal, Need for Speed, Doom and many others in 3D, it blew my mind as a kid that suddenly all of the games I enjoyed could be enhanced in such a way at the click of the button. Any game that supported a 3D API could be played this way (if your monitor supported 120Hz refresh at that resolution, which limited me to 800x600). The 3DS is great too and showed how 3D could help create new

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          I'll say it's a useful analogy.

          Now having used 3D display technology and a DK2, I'll say there simply isn't a comparison, the VR is a whole other level. The stereoscopic effect is so much cleaner than any shutter or polarized technology, and stereoscopic is but a tiny portion of what makes it substantial.

          On the other hand, the portion of the population that passionate about this stuff in general is not as high. 'Gaming' constitutes 90 billion dollars *total* today, and of that only 27 billion in PCs and 2

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            The unrealistic claims about VR or AR are all based around unsound physiological assumptions. Reality is, want real answers, start doing real testing. See what happens to a group of 100 hundred people where they are required to use VR eight hours a day for 30 days, see how long they can keep going and see how great their physiological deterioration is over that time. Too evaluate the likely success or failure of that you have to test for that. Any statement by the corrupt banksters at Goldman Sachs suits G

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              Of course, no amount of all those concerns being addressed would manage to overcome the simple reality that they are projecting that the VR specific market will be embarrassingly larger than the total gaming market today is just silly. Analysts are frequently very bad, but this is ridiculous by even those standards. Such claims are not merely overlooking uncertain risk elements that you mention, but basic math around nicely comparable data points that exist today.

              • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                At a guess though, they do not believe what they are writing, not in the least and they intend to sell a certain companies stock (for the reasons given, shh they have done some of the research and it doesn't look good, they are just lying 'er' forgotten to present that data and presenting other data instead), quite extensively, hence the massive pump up. Make no mistake as a smart phone accessory, Immersion Displays will be a big seller, turning that smart phone into a really big 3D screen at a very reason

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Heh... That's kind of what I was thinking but, really, I mostly got a kick out of this quote:

      Prestigious investment bank Goldman Sachs

      Prestigious? I'm not really sure I can agree with that sentiment.

    • Actually, he's probably making that prediction because of the expected universal appeal of my next game. It's a virtual reality game where you go on an epic quest to save the world economy by beating the crap out of Goldman Sachs bankers.

    • VR is 3D going no where just a big money pit for wall street to collect cash in.

      Why do you think Goldman Sachs is so interested in it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ever and ever searching for the next big bubble to sustain its illusion of exponential growth. Were it just a game...

    The sad thing is that this "game" is backed by a deep shadow of war, poverty and decline all over the place (all this fight over "intellectual property is also one aspect of that).

    Growth can't be exponential vs. a limited phisical world. Pretending it to be is giving us painful "readjustments" with ever increasing frequency.

    Cling to your denial.

  • wonkey_monkey: No it won't.

    I'll be back in 9 years to check up on this.

  • like going to slashdot for mortgage-advice.

  • AR would be huge market. Except on Slashdot where people seemingly lose their shit because more than 5 cameras are pointed at you. I say more than because we're quite ok with privacy invasion and continuous tracking, but don't you dare even consider pointing your far more useful AR device in my direction glasshole.

  • are vr and ar easy to use for an average user, like a tv or a smartphone( such as not having to wear inconvenient head gear)?
    are they useful to everyone(as opposed to a niche of special users like gamers or scientists) like laptops?

    if no, (imo it is 'no ', at present and in 2025,) for both questions, then there isn't going to be large market.

    • They are saying that revenues for VR/AR will be larger than revenues of all consoles and PCs combined by 60%. That's a pretty optimistic projection, than 60% more people than bother with console or pc gaming today will suddenly do so for the sake of VR. Ignoring too the fact that most pc/console gaming folks probably don't have the patience for this.

      Now I'm all for it and have a DK2 myself, but know myself to be in a minority.

    • God damn that's myopic. Laptops were a niche market until about 10 years ago because the standard model for an office was built around a desktop with only a few edge cases receiving the portability of a laptop. Now that the prices have dropped and people have seen the flexibility that procuring laptops for everyone provides, always connected, being able to work from home when you took the day off to take care of your sick kid or spouse; offices and people are buying laptops more than desktops. Cell phones w

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2016 @07:24AM (#51510183)

    who calls scambags "prestigious" after 2008?

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      who calls scambags "prestigious" after 2008?

      They're as prestigious as, say, Henry Kissinger.

  • I believe it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @07:29AM (#51510187)

    By then real life will suck so much for the commoners that VR/AR will be the state-sanctioned escape and control mode.

    • And when you have 50% unemployment as robotics take over, you can either kill the undesirables in the population, or give em bread and circuses.

      I would imagine future governments take a position of - "You, guy, the one that can't get a job and has no future; here, take this VR unit and go home. Oh, and here's your EBT card and unlimited VR pr0n. Now GO AWAY!!!"

  • I can see VR for education purpose. Like see wonders of the world or look a engines/buildings/etc. without having one in the classroom.
    It can not replace the real thing. But it will give people a better understanding when seeing it in 3D, and you can look around the object instead of just a flat picture in a text book.

    AR. I can see some heads up display helpers. But to many and it will be to much of a distraction. So AR has to be very cheap for people want to buy them for so little use they will give.

    But us

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I too think this is way over optimistic (and plus, it's analyst BS in general). However Kinect and Wii are a tad different.

      Now if you say things like those omni-directional treadmills are dead on arrival, I'm right with you. If you say the Vive/Touch controller scheme might not set the world on fire because it's too much work, again I could see that perspective, though I think it will work out better with 1 to 1 mapping to how your hands move in the real world.

      However, as a 'monitor', the only downside is

    • Recently started a job where I am supporting a school. We had a company come in and setup a demo showing their teaching software and hardware.
      Most of the people took some time goofing around with them but afterwards the teachers were pretty much in agreement. While it was neat and could have some usage they were wondering who was going to spend all the time needed in setting up the class lessons and entering the information into that system. Then for the money it would be easier to just purchase a physi
  • Look, I'm sure VR/AR will create some big companies that will provide real products and services for many people, but the problem with all this is that GS and its ilk are just so massive that they can basically make any industry 'the next big thing' regardless of any sort of fundamentals. I mean, they basically set the whole concept of 'fundamentals'. It just makes it trivially easy for these guys to create huge profits for themselves by inflating bubbles in entire sectors. All they need is some basic level

  • People will quickly tire of VR when it becomes apparent how much bother and effort it is to set up and get going and for such limited experiences. I expect AR will suffer a similar fate.

    It won't mean these technologies don't have their uses but they'll probably occupy a niche for a long time to come. VR might be useful for playing racing / flight sims and so on but hardly mainstream uses.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Maybe I just have narrow horizons, but I find Google cardboard with the street view app in cardboard mode to be pretty immersive by itself, and that's 2D-ish content and pretty static.

      I think you underestimate the "good enough" types of VR applications like stereoscopic virtual tours and the like. If you set the standard to be fully rendered, free-roaming environments requiring 4k resolution it becomes complex and prohibitive to most people.

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        Cardboard is pretty impressive but that soon gives way to a sense that it's just some fancy tech demos than anything worth repeat viewing. For me, it took a couple of days to mess around with it before I couldn't be bothered to take the phone out of its bumper, start the Cardboard app, stick it in headset and do run it any more. Yeah it's cool to take a 3D tour and there is that initial wow. But after a while wow transforms to why.

        I expect the same issue will arise with PS4 and PC versions. Initial excite

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I still think you bias the use case to free-roaming, interactive VR environments with a traditional gaming overhead on top of that. In those cases, it is tremendously computationally intensive and requires a significant amount of hardware in addition to requiring a gaming environment at least on par with the best 2D environments.

          Stereoscopic still or video imagery would require a much lighter hardware infrastructure while still providing a pretty immersive experience; I would suspect that clever innovation

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I want augmented reality, tied in with photo recognition and big data. I want to be able to look at a bridge, know when it was built, how high it is, if anyone was harmed during the build process, what the structural capacity is, what the max throughput is, and things like that. I want to look at a building and see the floor plan, know who built it, know who rents space in it, know what the value is, and things like that - not houses but, you know, more famous buildings.

      Basically, I want augmented reality s

      • Yeah, that all sounds great... except, where is all of that data going to overlay?

        It makes me think of that screenshot from the early 2000's of a web browser with about an inch of visible web page underneath all of the toolbars.

        I have enough trouble wading through the information overload we have already.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          With AR? Overlay. Not all at once. That's why I mentioned the ability to drill down. Mentally? It'd not even need to be visualized - I shouldn't think. Not necessarily like one would see it and without optical input. So, any ol' spot. But, off to the side with glasses. It can be varied sizes, it'd be pretty close to the eyes so there's lots of room to actually move your eyes and still see inside of the glasses. But no, not all at once and definitely gonna want to be able to turn it off. My original thought

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @08:30AM (#51510305)

    "We invested in this technology before we realized it was the technological equivalent of putting retirement funds into Beanie Babies. Let's talk it up so that we can sell it all off to our technology-illiterate investor and let them take the loss when it all collapses."

    • Isn't in their interest to keep the price of entry of VR/AR speculation low, so that they can buy up as much of a position as they can?
      So, you must ask yourself why are they spouting their mouths off, to raise the price...

  • Translation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "We've made our investment, now pump up the bubble for us. We'll let you know when we got out."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    VR headsets will saturate the market once porn finds the platform useful. It's not a joke: the internet is useful, and not going away, but the pornography is the market share that saturates the internet (just like the VRC market years ago.....). I expect that porn will eventually do the same thing for VR.

  • VR can't be massive until there is a cheap way to walk around virtual spaces like you're actually walking around them. AR, though, has implications for businesses everywhere. Some of them are ALREADY using the technology to make it easier to do maintenance by showing the procedures alongside the parts, which is where it's really going to kick ass. No more walking back and forth to the workbench to look at the documentation you printed out... no more printing it out to begin with

  • none of the Console makers and game makers will embrace it. Honestly titles like Rainbow 6 Siege and others would benefit from supporting 3D quite a bit. But when I started researching why they dont I found it's because none of the Current Gen Consoles have enough horsepower to do 1080p 3D smoothly.

    So you will NOT see the PS4 and the Xbox One doing VR. it will have to be a platform upgrade to get there. Hell a high end PC that costs $3500 barely runs a rift smooth enough to not cause puke fountain an

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Hell a high end PC that costs $3500 barely runs a rift smooth enough to not cause puke fountain and headache.

      Huh? My i5 Ivy bridge with a GTK 660 drives my rift fine for a lot of experiences. I don't think I've seen a 'made for VR' experience that pushed it, just some non-VR projects with VR shoehorned in that had graphics so high as to push things hard.

      They also have positional timewarp to smooth things out.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nobody bothers with 3D in video games because it's just not worth the effort to get a slight depth effect while halving the visual fidelity compared to 2D. It had nothing to do with absolute horsepower - this effect will still occur when consoles are 100x as powerful. If the effect of 3D TV was more impressive it would make up for the quality loss, but it isn't. The effect of 3D TV is quite astoundingly mediocre, and nobody wants to trade lower visual fidelity for that.

      VR is not the same at all. The eff

    • by deek ( 22697 )

      But Sony already have a VR solution for the PS4. It's actually been shown to, and used by, many games journalists. I think they use a coprocessor or DSP (or more than one?) to offload the VR processing. The public don't actually know how they do it, but what is certain is that they have done it. Plus, from all reports, they're doing it at 120fps.

      The PS VR is lower resolution than Rift/Vive. I'm sure that helps. There may also be optimisations due to the fixed platform. Also, this will all be around t

  • Prestigious investment banks don't get fined $5 billion for ripping off their customers.
    • Prestigious investment banks don't get fined $5 billion for ripping off their customers.

      Sure they do. You may not admire them and I get that, but Goldman Sachs is very well respected in many circles and has been for a very long time. GS is as prestigious an investment bank as exists. The fact that they are two timing scumbags who would sell their own mother up the river strangely does not seem to affect their status much.

      It's no different than the folks here who dislike Apple or Google. They are still well regarded companies even though you can easily make an argument that their behavior h

  • WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @09:23AM (#51510509)
    What the fuck does a bank know about VR, AR, and tech trends? They're eons behind on tech.. probably still running COBOL servers.
    • They know they have sunk a bunch of VC into it so it BETTER take off?

    • What the fuck does a bank know about VR, AR, and tech trends?

      Plenty in all likelihood. First of this is Goldman Sachs which is decidedly NOT a bank in the sense you are implying. Investment banking [] involves a lot more than just taking deposits and paying interest. Goldman Sachs is arguably the best investment banking firm out there. The people working at GS are VERY smart and clued in and while they might lie to you to make a buck (like here in all probability), they aren't dumb and for the most part they do know what they are talking about. GS has tech guys and

  • 'Sachs calls augmented reality and virtual reality "the next generation computing platform"'

    Blah blah blah... That's what that hippy with the dreadlocks used to say back in the 90s.

  • Could this be just a fad? I find it hard to believe people will willingly shut themselves off from the world using some isolation-helmet, much less them replacing regular display devices. It's awkward, will get tiresome after a while and almost completely isolates you from your surroundings. Other than a novelty toy, I just don't see people preferring this to watching TV with their families or friends. Maybe your stereotypical basement dweller, but even his neck (and left hand) will get tired after a while.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @11:46AM (#51511217)
    They can't even predict what'll happen in the next few months let alone ten years: []
    • by lolop ( 677387 )

      They recently bought new crystal balls, their prediction is also confirmed by astral conjunction and they read it in their CEO palm reading. No doubt.

  • The history of technology is awash in the tears of engineers who tried to make people wear something that looks as hideous as a VR headset.

  • Goldman Sachs already lives in a virtual reality of their own.
  • I mean, they were right about that one. Kind of. Somehow.
  • Every time I hear about VR in the news I think of the book Ready Player One and how society in the story reacts to mass adoption of VR.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein