Headset Sales and Platform Wars: The VR Race So Far

Taking a look at the main contenders in 2016’s VR headset race.

Just over a year ago, Google announced that more than five million Google cardboard viewers had shipped. With over ten thousand apps available to anyone with a compatible smartphone, it seemed that the long-promised VR revolution was finally getting going. Since then we’ve seen the launch of the first four serious VR headsets, with several more are expected to hit the market in the next year.

VR headsets have come a long way since the 90s, but still leave a few things to be desired.


Early estimates of headset sales were highly optimistic. Deloitte predicted that VR would have its first billion dollar year, while Statistica forecast the sale of over ten million headsets. Unfortunately for both VR fans and investors, these optimistic guesstimates fell far short of reality. VR uptake has been smaller than expected, and, despite inspiring rave reviews and blowing the minds of gamers worldwide, the sales figures for VR headsets are just not as good as we all hoped.

How many headsets really sold?

The answer is not easy to find. However we can make some early estimates, and, while they don’t live up to initial predictions, the news is not all bad.


Gear VR sales hit five million

Tim Baxter of Samsung recently announced that over five million Gear VR headsets have shipped, offering a wide range of experiences from TV tie-ins to video games. Their partnership with the Oculus store has clearly worked out well, despite a few little issues with exploding Note 7s, with roughly 80% of the headsets purchased in the last four months.


Console VR proves popular

Caption for video: Road to VR compares PSVR performance on PS4 and PS4 Pro


Playstation VR was the hot VR headset of the holiday season, and despite global supply issues causing initial sales to fall short of early estimates, sales figures eclipsed those of both the Vive and the Rift put together. Several months on Playstation VR headsets are still hard to come by, and consumer demand still seems to be high. Sales of the PS4 console behind it were strong, with many consumers opting for the higher performance PS4 pro. This bodes well for the future of Sony’s VR journey.


In contrast, Microsoft have held back from VR frenzy. Instead, they’ve set the stage for a new console cycle, and plan to release the Xbox Scorpio in time for the 2017 holiday season. Microsoft have confirmed that existing Xbox One titles will be compatible with the new console, and while it is being designed to be VR capable, it’s squarely aimed at traditional console gamers rather than just VR fans.


Gear VR overtakes Oculus Rift

While mobile users got into Gear VR and console fans waited for their headsets, HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift battled to capture the PC gaming audience. While exact sales figures can only be guessed at, the HTC Vive appears to be pulling ahead. The Vive wowed reviewers at launch, and despite its higher price tag, it has proved over and over to be the more popular of the first two PC VR contenders. If recent rumours are to be believed, twice as many consumers are opting for the Vive, who reported that over 140,000 headsets had been sold by October of last year. This is hardly surprising given that the Vive has been one step ahead of the Rift since it launched last April. Despite its later launch date and higher price, the HTC vive captured the lion’s share of the PC consumer and developer market early by offering a two-handed room scale experience from the start. The launch of the Oculus Touch controllers in December went some way towards levelling the playing field, but still fell short of providing the same quality of experience, while the $199 add-ons eliminated the price difference between the two headsets.


The HTC Vive is poised to pull even further ahead with the release of their new line of peripherals, which make it easy to bring new items into the VR world. Rather than bringing out rumoured headset upgrades, Valve and HTC will be focusing on hardware add-ons such as the HTC Vive Tracker, which allows users and developers to customize their experience.


More HTC Vive Tracker details were revealed at CES 2017 last month


While Facebook recently lost their courtroom battle with ZeniMax Media, who are considering taking out an injunction to restrain Oculus from using code that infringes their copyrights, it seems that stopping the Oculus train may not be that simple, and the impacts of the $500 million verdict against them are still unknown.


Looking ahead

So far it seems that the VR revolution has had a slow and rocky start. Fortunately for tech fans, the next generation of headsets are on their way. While Google DayDream recently launched in the U.S, we have several hotly anticipated VR launches to look forward to over the next year, including the eye-tracking Fove and the standalone Pico Neo CV.

Rules Successful Startups Should Follow

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When starting your own company, a startup, many founders or CEOs tend to walk on egg shells when operating. Why? Let’s face it, you’re at such a fragile state that you don’t want to mess anything up. One poor decision could lead to the demise of the company that you just started. Here are some rules to follow to run a successful startup according to TechCrunch.com.

Study the Competition, Then Steal Them

When starting your own company, there usually are companies that have done what you’re looking to do or very close to what you’re doing. With that said, they can be a different stage in Thibault Mathieu - Startuptheir company. Some have accomplished what you’re looking to accomplish in the near future. A great way to help meet those expectations is to have people on your team who have done what you’re looking to do before. In order to do so, you may have to steal some of your competitions employees.

Fire Employees Faster

In a startup atmosphere mistakes are bound to happen, and that goes for hiring. It could be a great hire based on interviewing but when it comes to executing the job, it’s not a great fit. The best thing to do here is to not let it linger. The sooner you can remove a mis-hire, the sooner you can move on and make up for your mistake. Don’t dwell on it, but fix it and move on.

For Outside Help, Work with Principals

As a small startup, there will be tasks that you can’t have done in-house and will need to outsource the work. For example, if you’re a software company, you may need to outsource marketing or even something as simple as human resources. When doing so, don’t reach out to the top of the line companies. You’re a startup and won’t be able to work with the big players in these industries. Hire small firms where you can demand to work with the principals.

For more on this interesting article, read about it here on TechCrunch.com

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Amazon Adds Travel Sector

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The largest juggernaut of convenience just grew larger and more convenient. First online in 1995 as a superstore of books, electronics, appliances, and more, Amazon added a travel agency sector to their repertory of services provided, a move many hope will centralize, and perhaps more fluidly handle the process of booking hotels. Amazon Destinations, as it is called, was the CEO Jeff Bezos’ latest brainchild, and its mission is to help the customer find travel destinations, especially leisurely getaways, within driving distance of his home.

Amazon - Thibault mathieuWhile it seems to be limiting itself by its modest approach to finding nearby destinations, Amazon is leaving rumors in the air of small-to-big expansion. It currently serves Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, featuring suggested venues that reach many other metropolitan areas. For example, someone located in New York City can learn about places as far away as The Poconos and the Amish Country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It offers customers a visibly pleasing experience through colorful descriptions and photography of each place listed. Attraction and aesthetic superiority can never replace functionality as the prime linchpin to its success.

Although the site’s extension possesses a consumer novelty in its own, Amazon cannot deny the projected financial losses attributed to its overexpansion. Its estimated losses are giving shareholders a feeling of uncertainty they can’t shake. Jeff Bezos’ response to the ensuing doubts is a confidence in Amazon’s right and ability to experiment in other categorical fields. For some, the competitiveness of the travel market is a deterrent from greater involvement, (especially considering globalization and the booming of international business), for others, it is a reason for Amazon to comprehend it into its bulk of services. Having reached $100 billion in annualized revenue, Bezos feels comfortable that any loyal customers will take pride and comfort in using Amazon Destinations as its new convenient travel agent.

Learn more about its offers here. Visit Amazon’s own site here.

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Twitter Purchases Startup

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Twitter Inc. confirmed it has purchased TenXer, a startup run by one of the card-tallying phenoms who roused the 2008 blackjack film “21.”

Twitter, the social media conglomerate has been around since 2006 and now serves over 288 million active users each month. They have reported revenue of $664 million in 2013 which has since likely rose.

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Twitter acquires TenXer

The organization on Thursday indicated a tweet from Jeff Ma, TenXer’s CEO and co-founder who reported the arrangement on Twitter. TenXer’s innovation could help Twitter’s architects cooperate all the more profitably, an inconvenience spot for the organization before.

VentureBeat prior reported news of the securing. The cost of the arrangement wasn’t revealed.

Established in 2011, TenXer gives information driven administration devices for architects and their directors to enhance their work yield. It has brought $4.7 million up in subsidizing from financial specialists that incorporate True Ventures, Radar Partners and Khosla Ventures.

Twitter in earlier years has endured problems shipping items in the midst of coordination issues in the middle of architects and item directors. The organization plans to utilize TenXer’s innovation to enhance profit and help directors settle on more compelling choices through expanded straightforwardness, as per an individual acquainted with the matter.

Generally 50% of Twitter’s 3,700 workers worldwide are engineers. The organization at present doesn’t have arrangements to make TenXer’s innovation accessible to outside application engineers through its Fabric stage.

Mr. Ma, a serial business visionary who has some expertise in prescient investigation, will join Twitter’s item group while two TenXer designers will join the designing positions.

For more on this article, check it out at wsj.com.

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Breakthrough Traveling to Cuba?

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Airbnb authorities declared today that the group driven neighborliness organization will be one of the first U.S. organizations to offer lodging to U.S. voyagers who fit into the 12 classes of affirmed motivations to go to Cuba.

New standards set up by President Obama’s organization in January has made it simpler for Americans to go to Cuba. They can’t go as travelers yet they can strive for affirmed reasons, for example, instructive exercises, proficient gatherings, philanthropic tasks and athletic rivalries.

Thibault Mathieu - CubaMore than 1,000 postings are presently accessible on Airbnb. Around 40 percent are in Havana. The remaining postings are in urban communities, for example, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Santa Clara. Airbnb hopes to extend the quantity of postings. Cuba has as of now turned into a standout amongst the most hunt down destinations in the organization’s postings, topping Latin American urban areas, for example, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Mexico City.

“For over 50 years, Cuba has been out of reach for most Americans,” Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk said in a written release. “We couldn’t be more excited that, starting today, licensed U.S. travelers will now be able to experience the unique culture and warm hospitality that makes the island so special through our new Cuban community.”

Cuba as of now has an extensive system of casas particulares, which offer guests home-stays and are controlled by local people.

Major U.S. lodging organizations have likewise said they might want to have a vicinity in Cuba however that it is too soon to make any moves.

Aerial transports too are gradually making sense of how they can grow direct administration from the USA. They have just possessed the capacity to offer sanction flights for individuals to-individuals visits, which was the main way Americans could lawfully visit Cuba as of not long ago.

Airbnb is putting forth Cuban has the same assurance and profits it offers has in any area, including the repayment of up to $1 million for property harm.

Americans who book with Airbnb will need to bear witness to that they are going under one of the 12 sanction classes. Starting now, Airbnb is just open to approved U.S. voyagers yet the organization says it will look for regard to serve non-U.S. explorers also.

For more on this article, check it out at USAToday.com.

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Dell Accepts Bitcoin Internationally

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Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin has people talking. What exactly is bitcoin? Bitcoin is an innovative alternate form of money. For more on bitcoin, check out bitcoin.org. While bitcoin hasn’t quite taken off to the point that its everyones first mode of payment, it is gaining momentum. Dell recently made headlines in that it is the largest company to accept bitcoin internationally.

While already accepting bitcoin in the United States, Michael Dell tweeted out to his 864,000 plus followers that Dell will now accept bitcoin from customers in the United Kingdom and Canada. Dell has had some experience with accepting bitcoin already. One of there biggest deals to date using bitcoin was $50,000 for their servers.

This is not bitcoin’s biggest break through ever as it has been used in other industries. However, over the last 12 months, bitcoin’s value has plummeted. Once valued at over $1,000 a share, bitcoin today is worth roughly $270. Dell does not plan on investing in bitcoin meaning after accepting it as payment, he will likely exchange it for cash as many do. This way those who are not as confident in the ever so volatile bitcoin rid themselves of the risk of owning it.  For more on this topic, check out this link here.


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6 Reasons Why Venture Capitalist Reject a Good Startup

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There are many great business ideas out there. Some better than others, but out there nonetheless. Execution is key to a good business idea, but so are sales. It’s always a plus when your business owns something proprietary. Still as entrepreneurs try to grow their great business idea, they need the help of others. They need venture capitalist to help promote growth through investments. Here are six reasons why sometimes a venture capitalist has to reject a good startup.

You Need More Traction

Traction is key to gaining an investment. Many times a VC will tell you they need to see more traction in order to believe in the evaluation you are looking for an investment at. Your company needs to have been doing what they’re doing for sometime at a competitive rate. Sometimes traction can mean they need to see more sales. If you don’t have enough sales, it says you haven’t proven the market yet.

We Have A Competing Portfolio Company

In picking startups, VC’s have to be very wise. Not only do you not want to invest in a dud, but you also want to make sure the company you invest in is the company in that industry that you want to invest it. Sometimes VC’s have to walk away from a company because of a conflicting interest in the same industry. The last thing they want to do is bring competition amongst two of their companies.

You’re Too Late

imagesMany different trends come and go, and sometimes that could be why you don’t get an investment from a VC. Especially in the technology industry. Look at phones, there’s a new version of a phone every year, year and a half. Sometimes if you can’t get your business to a certain stage to stay ahead of the trend curve, you’ve lost.

You’re Too Early

Sometimes if an idea has not been proven yet, an investor does not want to take such a risk on the possibility that this is the new trend. What often times happens is they wait it out or leave it to research to prove its existence.

You’re Too Expensive

A business owner takes pride in what they have accomplished in putting together a business. Sometimes that can get in the way of getting an investment. While you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into something, an investor doesn’t see that. What they see is sales and the end product or service. So when you’re asking for X and the investor is offering Y, you can be at odds ends. You have to be willing to negotiate down sometimes even if you think your business is worth more.

We’re Unsure

Sometimes a VC can just be unsure. It could be an industry they are not familiar with or they may not fully understand the business and the projected growth rate. They may stall in order to figure things out. You need to move on or risk getting no investment.

For more on this interesting article, check out this here.

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Monotype Acquires Swyft Media

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Monotype Image Holdings, a publicly traded company based out of Woburn, Massachusetts has acquired New York based startup, Swyft Media. Monotype Image Holdings specializes in font production whereas Swyft Media specializes in selling branded digital stickers and other ad products. The acquisition figures to be very beneficial for Monotype Image Holdings. But just how much did this acquisition cost them, and does Swyft Media have a proven track record?

imgresSwyft Media was founded in 2012, but was originally TextPride. The startup has worked with popular apps like Kik, KakaoTalk, TextPlus. It’s reported that they have worked with nearly 300 brands. These include the likes of Sony, MGM, SEGA, Dreamworks, and Hearst. The acquisition could cost Monotype Image Holdings up to $27 million. They’ll pay Swyft Media $12 million upfront and another $15 million in potential earn outs.

With mobile messaging at the forefront of todays way of communicating, this acquisition should definitely help Monotype Image Holdings advance their business from a revenue standpoint. The company currently sits on Forbe’s list of America’s Top Small Companies at #100. They’ll look to build on their impressive $175 million in revenue since the companies inception in 2004. CEO Douglas Shaw wants to broaden his companies customer base. Their current customers include publishers and creative professionals. With this acquisition, he is looking to reach a younger audience based customer. Shaw is targeting the young texting teenager/young adult who use emoticons in their everyday text conversations. If this acquisition goes smoothly, Monotype Image Holdings could definitely fly up the Forbes list in the coming years.

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Consumer Electronic Show, Vegas

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This Tuesday, events will get underway at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event happens every year and is designed to showcase the new and latest tech trends for the coming year. There are expected to be 3,500 different companies there to showcase what they have ready for consumers to make their lives easier.

Some of the key categories expected to be represented as this years CES are the following:

Cheaper Televisions
The end to 1080 pixel televisions may be near. Year after year, televisions have been becoming cheaper and cheaper, even as sizes get bigger. What tech trends are expecting is that 4k televisions (televisions that stretch 4,000 pixels wide) are expected to become less expensive. At the right price, these televisions could ultimately put an end to 1080 pixel televisions.

Connected Cars
This is one many people have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. With automobile companies like Audi, BMW, Chrysler, and many more in attendance this year, they’ll be out to showcase their connected cars. A connected car is a car that is equipped with internet access and even wireless local area network

Oculus Headset
Oculus Headset

Energy Management
On the way out could be your traditional washer and dryer or dish washer. Companies have made advances in providing these sorts of home appliances that will offer a more eco-friendly solution and save you money on your energy bill.

The Apple Watch, which made headlines along with the introduction of the iPhone 6 back in October of 2014 is already dominating the talk of this category. While it has dominated the conversation of this category, Apple will not be a participant this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. That’s not to say other companies won’t be bringing their wearables. Some will even have accessories to go with the Apple Watch.

Virtual Reality
With no release date still for the Oculus virtual reality headset for consumers to purchase, companies like Samsung have introduced their prototype. Samsung’s Oculus headset is used as an accessory to their phone.

For more on CES, check out this article here.

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