VR headset manufacturers launch the Global Virtual Reality Association

With the virtual reality market poised to take off, several tech companies are creating a nonprofit to foster the industry and develop best practices.

With the virtual reality market poised to take off, several VR headset manufacturers are creating a nonprofit to foster the industry and develop best practices.

The founding members of the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) include Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook's Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

"The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally," said the group in a release. "The association's members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses."

This year, the market for VR and AR (augmented reality) has been valued at $5.2 billion. By 2020, worldwide revenues for the AR and VR market -- including hardware, software, and services -- are expected to reach $162 billion, according to the Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide from IDC.

There are potential VR and AR applications for a wide range of industries -- spanning the arts and entertainment to health care and real estate. Yet in a September 2016 survey conducted by the design and development studio Yeti LLC, 40 percent of US product developers said they had only an average or below average understanding of the VR development process. Other challenges for the nascent industry include a lack of initial content, as well as technical solutions for problems like motion sickness.

"We're still very much in the early stages of VR, so it's critical that industry leaders work together to create and share ideas on how we can safely build this industry," said Jordan McCollum, general counsel for Oculus at Facebook, in a statement. "I'm looking forward to working with other hardware makers to proactively address the challenges we need solve to make VR a success over the long term."

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