Microsoft

2 stocks to invest in virtual reality

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The virtual reality (VR) market is still in its early stages, but has the potential to become a key segment of the broader tech space as VR for consumers and enterprises will reach an estimated $25 billion market size within three years. reaches.

Two companies that have a good chance of successfully tapping into this growing market are: Microsoft (MSFT) 2.30%) and Apple (AAPL 1.88%). These tech giants are already knee-deep in VR and augmented reality (AR) in their own way, and could eventually capitalize on their early moves. This is why.

Image source: Getty Images.

Microsoft’s headset bet

Like so many other tech companies right now, Microsoft has its own AR/VR headset. But unlike many of its peers, Microsoft’s headset, called Hololens, is already being used for real-world applications.

Industrial manufacturers and healthcare companies have used Hololens to train employees, and so far Hololens already has 200 partner apps for the device, in addition to Microsoft’s own apps.

But the most notable use case for Hololens to date has been for the US military. Microsoft currently has a contract worth approximately $22 billion to supply 120,000 Hololens units to the armed forces and recently sent the first shipment of 5,000 to the military.

Those devices are a modified version of Hololens, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), and can leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services to monitor and display specific sensor data.

Of course, Microsoft isn’t just interested in deploying Hololens to the armed forces, but this first order does show that there are practical uses for the device and that Microsoft is already receiving potentially major contracts for its headset — something most tech companies can’t do right now. claim.

Not only that, but if Microsoft can show how well its Azure cloud services fit its headset, future use of its Hololens could be a boon to the company’s already successful cloud computing service.

Apple’s AR ambitions

Apple has already made some headway in the AR/VR space with the company’s push to bring augmented reality apps to the App Store. There are already more than 14,000 AR apps that run on the company’s mobile operating system — and Apple is probably just getting started.

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