Virtual reality and augmented reality are the newest platform for entertainment, and even productivity. Apple recently announced a further investment in AR technology. This developing sector has enormous potential and a myriad of possible applications, and the market is sure to grow.
Here are the top technology companies working on artificial and augmented reality.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD-Q)
AMD is working on their Liquid VR technology that provides an ecosystem for companies to build on. Their technology allows for near-photorealistic imagery in real-time.
He still likes this company and thinks they are still in the early stages of them taking market share from Intel. He likes their moves into gaming and data centres. Pricing in semi-conductors seems to be stabilizing, which will continue to allow tail winds to continue. It will be a volatile stock, but over the…
3D Systems (DDD-N)
Involved in VR – 3D Systems creates specialized simulators using VR headsets to train healthcare professionals. They’re also a leader in 3D printing and scanning, which can be rendered in virtual reality.
Unfortunately, it had a big earnings miss. A very whippy stock. It can be a big pop or a big drop on earnings numbers. There is a lot of hype and expectations. Technically it has broken because of its bad earnings quarter, and it is going to face a long road up.
Involved in AR – Facebook is working on their own augmented reality glasses. They’ve already registered some patents and recently expanded their Facebook Reality Lab to continue their work.
$195 is the first line he'd like at--will FB stay above it? $170 is the next line. If this goes sideways at $195, then enter it. The other level is $160, so if it falls below that, then sell.
Alphabet Inc (C) (GOOG-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Google is no stranger to VR, launching their first virtual reality viewer in 2013. They have started experimenting with mobile VR advertising format, and the company is rumoured to be building a new version of Glass. They also provide an augmented reality platform called ARCore.
There are always rumours about GOOG-Q acquiring TESLA. Don't buy GOOG-Q for this. Buy it for their expertise. There is a lot of money sloshing around in the market. There is nothing technically wrong with Google but he would not buy it because it is not seasonally strong.
GoPro Inc (GPRO-Q)
Involved in VR – GoPro launched their Fusion Camera, which allows creators to create 360-degree virtual-reality footage. They also made their VR player technology, Forge.js, open-source and free so people can create their own VR experiences and host them on a user’s website.
(A Top Pick Jan 25/16. Down 1.98%.) *Short*. Shorted this because we were having momentum to the downside in the market. Also, this had a high valuation.
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ-N)
Involved in VR – HP already has a Windows Mixed Reality Headset, which takes advantage of Windows software to play games, live stream and more.
He doesn't follow this closely, but it's in a strong sector. HP probably suffered an earnings decline recently. He owns Apple and Google instead--he'd rather bet on tech here. Nothing wrong with HP though, but it's not as strong as these two.
Involved in VR and AR – Microsoft’s Hololense is a mixed reality headset, that allows you to see holographic images appear win the real world. Their headset can also connect to Xbox and provide an immersive gaming experience.
A good hold. They are one of the biggest cloud players. They have Windows and Office and they have moved into open-source as well. They integrate their software into other applications, making it easier for their customers.
Nvidia Corp (NVDA-Q)
Involved in VR – Nvidia created the GeForce RTX GPUs to drive VR experiences. Their GPU allows for more immersive, and real-time graphics.
A GPU manufacturer. He struggles with their valuation metrics. They have good tailwinds and there will be more investment in data centres, machine learning and AI. They have exposure in gaming as well, where e-sports are growing.
Involved in AR – Nokia cancelled their Ozo camera program, which captured 360-degree virtual reality footage. However, they are working on including more AR features in their cellphones.
A 5G producer? He has put his money on Ericsson, due to the their footprint and market share. Nokia has not been as consistent. This is a good time to enter he thinks and it is an area you can trade in.
Involved in AR – Apple is working on their Augmented Reality headset, and may launch it as early as 2020. They are also heavily investing in augmented reality for iOS, working together with companies such as GE, Ikea, and American Airlines to bring AR into the day-to-day.
They have a 15% revenue exposure to China. If you look past the impact of Caronavirus, there manufacturing facility near ground zero was for back up. They have a great supply chain and having been moving more production to Taiwan in response. The shift to services has become a larger impact on revenues and the…
Nintendo Company Ltd. (7974-TYO)
Involved in VR – The Nintendo Switch is being rumoured to get a Virtual Reality headset. Although this is unconfirmed, the Switch console is said to attach to a headset to be used for games.
Not a big fan of branded technology. A product launch story where you get a big upsurge in revenue (like EA) and they have to carry a lot of cash. A volatile cycle that moves too much for his taste.
Himax Technologies (HIMX-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Himax produces non-driver components for AR and VR as well as 3D-sensing devices. Their main revenue source is display driver ICs that are used in smartphones, tablets and monitors.
Virtual reality and a chipmaker? This is a chip company and they make chips for some of the virtual reality and augmented reality pieces. It has big potential. The stock fell really, really hard on earnings, but has recently come back again. The company is going to be volatile, but one of the few plays…
Sony Corp. ADR (SNE-N)
Involved in VR – Sony’s VR headset is intimately linked with their PlayStation console, offering an immersive gaming experience. It allows users to watch movies, play games and listen to audio in virtual reality.
This is not only a technology company. Much of its earnings are coming from games and movies. Both those areas are very difficult to predict. He sees better value elsewhere.
Synaptics Inc (SYNA-Q)
Involved in VR – Synaptics announced a new virtual reality display driver and bridge last summer. They are the leading developer of human interface solutions and are building the components of VR headsets.
(A Top Pick July 8/09. Down 17.33%.) Touch screens technology and there was a competitive product that was driving prices down. Sold his holdings.
Involved in VR and AR – Intel launched their Vaunt AR smart glasses last year. Although they shut down this project, it’s almost certain that they are working on the next augmented reality and virtual reality project.
He is not a big believer in INTC just yet. PCs still make up 50% of their business -- a real anchor these days. In terms of manufacturing they used to have a key advantage, but their have given up that leadership position to Taiwan Semiconductor.
Micron Technology (MU-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Micron produces graphics memory chips for AR and VR use. They bring solutions to he problems encountered with increased bandwidth requirements for advanced graphics.
(A Top Pick Feb 20/19, Up 41%) It moved up quite a lot but now analysts are starting to talk about renewed pricing power on DRAM memory. It's more a trading stock. They really fixed their balance sheet.
Western Digital (WDC-Q)
Involved in VR and AR – Western Digital is developing solutions for higher resolution on VR and AR digital display and faster speeds for real time experiences. They’re also creating a more lightweight, embedded data storage solution for virtual reality and augmented reality products.
He owned Western Digital a few years ago. He still follows it, but finds there are other players, like Juniper or Cisco, who are better investments today.