Many of the big technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Sony and even Facebook have invested lots of money into the development of Virtual Reality the past year. The main reason being that the technology needed to create true virtual reality environments is now affordable and mainstream. Most people with a Smartphone, decent screen and gyro in their pockets now have the basics needed to experience virtual reality.
Many people may still not know it, but their smartphones have full virtual reality capabilities and now with major smartphone manufacturers like Sony and Samsung also on the Virtual Reality bandwagon these devices are just going to get better and smarter at delivering Virtual Reality.
All this is setting up the explosion that will make virtual reality a reality for everyone with the basic gear (which most people with a smartphone already have) possible. It is already turning into an extremely popular market and predictions have it that 2016 – 2020 it will become completely mainstream.
The interest in virtual reality is mind-blowing and people are extremely interested in experiencing it for themselves. At the big gaming expo, E3 2015, which were held in Los Angeles earlier this year almost everyone was interested in VR and people literally stood queue to immerse themselves into virtual reality. Even more awesome was the look on people’s faces while and right after experiencing virtual reality for the first time. With the barriers of cost to enter virtual reality now broken down it is set to become a billion dollar industry over the next 2 to 5 years.
Industry analyst firm CCS Insight has just published a report – Augmented and Virtual Reality Device Forecast, 2015-2019 – stating the amount of AR and VR devices sold will rise from 2.5 million this year, to a whopping 24 million in 2018. It forecasts that the market will be worth more than $4 billion.
The alternative is big blockbuster VR experiences, provided by the likes of the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. The former is PC-powered, Windows 10 compatible and is capable of streaming Xbox One games; the latter will be the ultimate accessory for PlayStation 4 owners come 2016.
Virtual Reality Devices: $4 Billion+ Business By 2018
And then there’s AR – augmented reality. Google Glass is the highest profile AR device to date but Microsoft has been making big waves with its HoloLens headset. Powered by the same ecosystem as Windows 10, Microsoft is promising holographic experiences overlaid on the real world. Think gaming on your dining room table, or Skype calling in your bathroom mirror.
The CCS report predicts that AR devices will gain traction in industrial and business arena, and highlights trials currently taking place from the likes of DHL.
“Despite the reputational damage done to the consumer smart glasses segment by Google Glass, companies have realised augmented reality can be used to increase productivity and cut costs,” explained Wood.
“Over the next two years we’re going to see the technology move out of trials into full-scale deployments. Companies that embrace augmented reality will gain a competitive advantage.”
Other interesting markets for Virtual Reality
It is expected that Virtual Reality will not only be big for the gaming and porn industry (already in the past couple of months some companies made serious money with the novelty of virtual reality) but it is also envisaged that education and the sport and entertainment industries will benefit immensely with the adoption of Virtual Reality.