Virtual Reality (VR) technology still struggles to grasp peoples’ minds despite it’s presence on the market for years. Though numerous tech visionaries and companies face up to a challenge and invest tons of effort and money into making it happen. And there are certain practical steps forward in VR if one looks closely. New devices, not inducing feeling of nausea, and immersive software solutions have been brought to the table lately, that may mark the arrival of VR to consumer products.
Major VR vendors and companies are already launching VR sets for consumer use. Everyone in tech world heard about Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. But Samsung Gear VR, Microsoft Hololens, Project Morpheus by Sony, The Vive by HTC and more products alike are raising their head as part of the market.According to various reports and polls, up to 65–70 % of adults heard something about virtual reality, and up to 40 % already know something about VR.
As of investments, it is huge. Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $ 2 billion, and hundreds of millions are being invested into various projects by companies like Lensar, MagicLeap, Movidius. Global market value of VR by the end of 2016 is expected to be $10 billion, according to TrendForce. Latest breakthroughs cover not only hardware but niche markets, software platforms, gaming, content generation, marketing as well. So the arrival is expected to be colossal. VR players promise users that the full-scale ability of experiencing things unreachable in real life is coming soon. If that’s true, it means the new era for business opportunities as well.
Hardware shipments of VR devices will increase from $2 m currently to $20 m in 2018, which will be accompanied by the expected continued increase in smartphones use up to 2.5 billion by 2018, as reported by CCS Insight.
Education and job-learning possibilities should become much more effective based on VR techniques and artificially created situations and specific environments. Companies offering educational services and products have a big window for growth using virtual reality.
E-commerce and online shopping have no escape from being affected by VR as well. And that is where the market is going to fully blossom in case VR advances will really correspond to expectations. It must be definitely stunning to see how a cool sofa would look in your room or would an abstract triangle-shaped picture fit to your work cabinet. Brands would engage closely and in more entertaining way with their customers, enabling them to interact with the product or it’s maker, and share personal experiences as active participants.
Real-estate industry may increase the sales and revenues by a mile, as well. Capturing detailed imagery of property and sites and presenting it to potential clients with no need of site visiting may save much effort to both buyers and realtors.
Entertainment will be probably the first industry to be affected and to make positive use of virtual reality technologies. Media, movies and games can be massively enriched by VR experience transferring the user into the movie scene, into the stadium, or into a fantasy game world. Cases for businesses would only be limited by imagination. Along with Augmented Reality development VR is believed to offer “be everywhere” experience in the nearest future.
So with millions of investments the stakes could never be higher. Is it finally the time for VR to show in 2016 and upcoming years? Will the global market value really reach $7 billion as forecast? Tech pundits ask three key questions: will it become mainstream, will it more than about games, and how will it influence our body and psychology? And all of it is duly representative of what might be there to come. Given the successful results businesses have no other way than to adapt.