Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report has had its share of misses when it comes to new ventures. But the company seems to have found promising ground with virtual reality, among the cutting edge areas of technology.
Earlier this week, the company acquired Eyefluence, a Milpitas, Calif. company that manufactures an eye-tracking interface. The purchase could help Alphabet to make its Daydream View headset even more user friendly. Eye-tracking technology that allows users to direct headset devices via their eye movement is considered one of the most important features in VR.
VR could drive big returns over the medium and long term for the company as it continues to expand from its search engine roots. Virtual and alternate reality are among the hottest areas of technology.
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A report by the accounting firm Deloitte predicted that the virtual reality sector will generate $1 billion in sales in 2016, the first time it has reached that threshold. A report by Manatt Digital Media predicts that revenues from VR will reach $30 billion by 2020.
A number of tech companies have launched products, or soon will, to benefit from this consumer trend, including Facebook and Sony. Google's Daydream View will be available in November.
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At $79, the headset will reportedly be cheaper than Facebook's Oculus Rift. It will also address two problems of comfort and convenience: Daydream View is crafted of soft fabric and foam and includes a plastic panel for easy insertion of an Android phone.
Meanwhile there's been a blitz of activity in the VR space. Apple, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Qualcomm have made key purchases in VR.
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Daydream View could eventually transform into a hub for mobile VR users to view content and access media. The landscape will be challenging, but Google has the resources to emerge as one of the winners. Its acquisition of the well-respected Eyefluence is evidence of that.
Google's foray into VR is a promising development for investors and another reason to grab shares.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.