3 Virtual Reality Stock Investing Tips That Will Pay Off Long Term | Rick GarsonVirtual reality is creeping up in popularity, and there’s no better time than now to capitalize on the rapidly expanding technology. Investors are eyeing the industry, which is expected to be valued at nearly $162 billion by the year 2020. Most of the larger technology companies are at least dipping into the VR market to see what they can do with it. Individuals who are hoping to invest in the market should keep these three tips in mind.

Expand your focus beyond hardware

Don’t only focus on the hardware aspect when looking at VR technology. Oculus, which was purchased by Facebook, released the Rift headset last year. Sony launched their PlayStation VR headset to enhance the experience for gamers, and Alphabet released a mobile headset known as the Daydream View.

While headsets play a part of the overall market, the real focus shifts to services and software. Hardware creates the basis, but according to Tom Mainelli, vice president of AR/VR at IDC, what can be done with the hardware depends on the services and applications that are compatible with the technology.

Hardware is expected to account for more than half the sales for VR, but software and services are what investors need to keep their eyes on for the long-term.

Bigger is better

The general concept in technology is that the companies that start out strong end up prevailing in the end, and VR appears to be following the same trend. The companies diving into VR aren’t going to sit idly and expect things to take off without dedicating resources to development. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg notes that they are mostly focused on the software side of VR. The VR content needs a location to go live, which is where Alphabet comes into play due to mobile capabilities.

Stay on the path

Don’t expect a super-fast return for VR. The companies focused on VR are only dedicating a portion of their efforts to VR since they have other projects and features to focus on. The industry probably won’t take off for at least another five to ten years, but early investors can get into the game early.

Virtual reality has the potential to become an important and useful technology in the future. Early adopters should take advantage of the forecast because the future is looking bright.