As Google Cardboard reaches 5M users, virtual reality seen as major growth area

Virtual reality was a highlight of CES in Las Vegas earlier this month, and for good reason: Heavyweights such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CableLabs are pursuing VR aggressively, and Goldman Sachs predicts that the VR market will be worth $80 billion by 2025, with video entertainment encompassing about $3.2 billion of that.

VR is already having an impact in the world of wireless, of course, both through dedicated devices and smartphone and tablet apps. Indeed, Google today announced that, 19 months after releasing its Google Cardboard VR viewer, it has shipped more than 5 million Cardboards and that users have launched 10 million "more immersive app experiences." Those figures likely will grow in a big way as mobile video consumption continues to ramp up and as carriers begin to deploy 5G networks.

VR represents a huge opportunity in mobile, and the looming question is how carriers, service providers and app developers will leverage it. Article