CTA Launches Consumer VR Initiative

VR stakeholders band together to offer industry definitions to help consumers understand what they’re getting
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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Dec. 19 announced that its Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Working Group has finalized industry definitions in the VR and AR, in the hopes of easing any consumer confusion regarding the technology.

The terms include:

Virtual reality, which creates an all-digital environment that effectively replaces the user’s real-world environment.

Augmented reality, which features overlays of digitally-created content in a user’s real-world environment.

Mixed reality, which blends the user's real-world environment with digitally-created content, allowing both environments to coexist and interact with each other.

360-degree video, which allows users to look in every direction.

Immersive experience, which covers any “deeply-engaging, multisensory, digital experience, which can be delivered using VR, AR, 360-degree video, MR and/or other technologies.”

“The collaboration from across our industry to develop and align on these consumer definitions is the kind of joint effort across the value chain that will ensure the success of this brand new industry and art form,” said Mark Turner, VP of corporate partnerships and strategy for Technicolor, and chairman of CTA’s AR/VR Working Group, in a statement. “AR, VR and MR offer consumers a remarkable world of interactive and immersive engagement — whether that’s incorporating information and imagery into our everyday environment or submerging ourselves completely into another world.

“And these emerging technologies are being applied beyond the entertainment sector, to help patients recover from a myriad of healthcare challenges such as dementia, PTSD and even paralysis. Many industries will be transformed by the way the innovative applications of these immersive technologies. AR, VR and MR are now changing our lives for the better.”

The CTA AR/VR Working Group includes Amazon, AMD, Dolby, Fox Innovation Lab, GoPro, HTC Vive, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, Sony, STRIVR, Technicolor and Translink Capital.

The CTA also offered a preview of its Gaming & Virtual Reality Marketplace at CES, which will host more than 70 companies, up nearly 50% from CES 2016. The group also  announced that on Jan. 3 it will release its U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report, which forecasts VR unit sales in the U.S. at 1.4 million units this year, with total revenues of $462 million.

“This is a pivotal point in consumer technology history, as AR/VR and other emerging tech categories are driving the entire industry forward,” said Karen Chupka, SVP of CES and corporate business strategy for CTA. “From gaming to GPS apps, military applications to medical treatments, innovations in AR are changing our lives for the better. And rapidly-evolving VR technologies are allowing doctors to enhance traditional therapies, architects to design stronger buildings and travel agencies to simplify vacation planning.”

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