Augmented Reality didn’t start with grown men chasing imaginary critters into the street but it sure got popular that way. Nintendo’s (
NTDOY - Free Report) Pokemon GO is a sensation that’s put augmented reality on the map. Now it’s time to let your imagination run.
I mean, essentially what augmented reality is about is allowing you to interact with the physical world like a 6 year old. Like a giant 6 year old with money. Personally, I think it’s going to smash any of the VR applications out there. The long term applications of augmented reality are very exciting. Some companies are throwing big bucks around to be the leaders in this new space. Over the last 12 months, virtual and augmented reality investments are up to $2 billion.
Magic Leap, a secretive startup developing an augmented-reality system announced nearly $800 million in funding led by Alibaba (
BABA - Free Report) . The last round puts valuation of the company at $4.5 billion and they haven’t even commercially launched their system yet.
DIS - Free Report) recently led a $65 million funding round in Jaunt VR. Jaunt has developed an end-to-end cinematic VR content-creation platform that includes a custom camera capable of shooting high-end professional-quality 360-degree footage, software for editing the footing together, a distribution system and a VR production studio in Los Angeles.
MSFT - Free Report) Hololens is for more than 3D Minecraft at home. The company is already working with Volvo on a virtual showroom. You know, for when you really want to check out what life will be like after your wife makes you sell your sports car and get…a Volvo. Maybe they can put some screaming VR babies in there too.
Of course then there’s Alphabet’s (
GOOGL - Free Report) Project Tango. Tango is going to be a solution for indoor navigation and has already signed up partners like the American Museum of Natural History. You could also use it in retail where vendors would be able to give customers an opportunity to preview how an item would look on them or in their home before they leave the store.
I’m looking forward to augmenting everything I see in Chicago in January so it looks like I’m on beach with smiling coeds instead of a frozen tundra full of miserable people in the murder capital of America.
It’s still a little early in the game here for augmented reality and virtual reality to become a major boost to the bottom line. Alibaba, Microsoft and Alphabet are all currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks right now. Although Disney does have a Momentum Style Score of A.