As the purveyors of a high ticket item, automotive manufacturers and retailers have always been more than happy to experiment with new technology in the pursuit of profit. Today's car buyers are more savvy and more careful than ever before, and virtual reality is the most recent tool being used to keep cars rolling off the line and into consumers' driveways. According to Bloomberg, in-home VR is a $1 billion industry in 2016, and is expected to grow to $21 billion by 2020. The automotive industry is taking advantage of VR in a number of ways, including letting potential buyers use that in-home gear to check out their next ride. There are other interesting things happening in the space, too, from stunning PR stunts at trade shows to incredibly sophisticated design tools used by top automotive engineers. Here are some of the most important things happening in the space.
Facebook's Oculus has been ordered to pay $500 million after a jury found that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey violated a non-disclosure agreement, according to Polygon. It could have been a lot worse. The jury also found Oculus was not guilty of the most serious allegations -- that the virtual reality company's founders had stolen trade secrets -- in particular, code that would help in the development of the company's Oculus Rift VR system. The lawsuit, brought by gaming company Zenimax, sought $4 billion in total damages. The lawsuit was first filed in May 2014, just months after Facebook acquired Oculus in a deal that at the time was reported to be worth $2 billion and signified the social network's entry into VR.
Karl Benz and Henry Ford revolutionized transportation with the initial development and mass production of the automobile. Now, more than a century later, the automotive industry is poised to transform transportation again, with a push to develop connected, personalized and autonomous driving experiences, electric vehicles and new mobility business models from ride-sharing to ride-hailing and multimodal, smart transportation concepts. This industry is expected to see significant growth, becoming a $6.6T industry by 2030, with disruptive business models accounting for 25 percent of all revenues, according to consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. From shared vehicle services to fully electric transportation, manufacturers are developing new products and services to enable large fleets offering mobility-as-a-service, which will increasingly replace individual car ownership. This involves modernizing the in-vehicle experience with productivity, entertainment, and personal assistants that are safe and secure, following users across different transport modes, adding value for businesses and consumers alike.
The new Samsung HMD Odyssey virtual reality headset will run on Microsoft's Mixed Reality platform. While compelling virtual and augmented reality content remains in short supply, there's no shortage of headsets flooding this still tepid market. On Tuesday, Samsung planned to take the wraps off a new high-end VR headset called the HMD Odyssey, which boasts built-in microphones, position sensors and AKG headphones. The company also claims to have the "highest resolution in the industry" thanks to dual AMOLED displays that are commonly found in smartphones. The $499 HMD Odyssey, which was to be revealed at Microsoft's Mixed Reality demo here, is available for pre-order Tuesday and will begin shipping in early November.
Facebook announced extended bereavement leave and paid family sick time as part of new benefits for employees. Sheryl Sandberg spoke about how her own experience losing her husband and how that makes this decision especially meaningful. SAN FRANCISCO -- Your chance to demo Facebook's Oculus Rift virtual reality goggle at a Best Buy store just got cut in half. Facebook is pulling its pop-up demo stations in 200 of its 500 Best Buy locations; Best Buy has around 1,400 stores nationwide. The social networking company, which bought Oculus in 2014 for $3 billion, said the move was out of a desire to focus on larger markets and not, as a report on Business Insider suggested, due to slow traffic.