What Does 2016 Have in Store for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality?

12/25/2015 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Piper Jaffray analysts have said it’ll look like a $60 billion market comprised of headsets and content within a decade, so the staff at Kapitall.com examines the year-to-date performance of five tech stocks that are currently involved with virtual and augmented reality.

Will virtual reality and augmented reality be the big thing in 2016? A few big product launches may mean yes.

What will the future of virtual reality and augmented reality look like? According to Piper Jaffray analysts, within ten years, it will look like a $60 billion market comprised of headsets and content. The technology has made significant strides over the last two years, namely Google's (GOOG) Cardboard virtual reality headset and 3D camera app and Samsung's Gear virtual reality headset. Furthermore, $2.5 billion-worth of acquisitions by Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) since 2014 shows just how appealing the field is.

And there are still exciting developments on the horizon. On Tuesday, Oculus VR founder Palmer Lucky tweeted that the company's Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is set to ship in the first quarter of 2016.

Thrilled to share some news: Manufacturing continues to go well, and we are still on-target for an awesome Rift launch in Q1!

— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) December 22, 2015

Sony (SNE) is preparing to launch its virtual reality platform, PlayStation VR, in 2016 as well.

And then there's Apple (AAPL). While Facebook made headlines for its $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality firm Oculus VR in summer 2014, the Cupertino firm's moves into the virtual and augmented reality space haven't been as flashy.

First, in 2013, Apple bought 3D sensor company PrimeSense for $345 million; then this past March, Apple bought software company Metaio for $32 million, gaining dozens of virtual reality patents; and the company is working with the lead audio engineer from Microsoft's (MSFT) augmented reality project, HoloLens.

Below is a list of tech stocks that are currently involved with virtual and augmented reality.

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1. Apple, Inc. (AAPL): Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. Market cap at $604.42B, most recent closing price at $107.23.

2. Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. Market cap at $308.84B, most recent closing price at $663.15.

Amazon recently received two patents that will enable the online retailer to bring augmented reality to living rooms.

3. Facebook, Inc. (FB): Operates as a social networking company worldwide. Market cap at $295.61B, most recent closing price at $105.51.

4. Alphabet, Inc. (GOOG): Through its subsidiaries, builds technology products and provides services to organize the information. Market cap at $512.47B, most recent closing price at $750.00.

5. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Market cap at $444.05B, most recent closing price at $55.35.

Microsoft is shipping its HoloLens glasses to developers in Q1 2016.

6. Sony Corporation (SNE): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. Market cap at $31/06B, most recent closing price at $24.30.

(One-year return data sourced from Zacks Investment Research. All other data sourced from FINVIZ.)

By the Staff of Kapitall.com

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