If you are serious about making a difference for your business in today’s highly competitive world, you should start investing in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Not because “it’s the new cool thing”, but because serious reports are signaling tectonic shifts poised to disrupt a wide range of businesses.
Goldman Sachs Research forecast $80 Billion Market for VR and AR by 2025, roughly the size of the desktop PC market today. The report indicates that there are nine areas in which VR & AR can be used, and the transformation has already begun.
The video game industry is the main dynamic behind the rise of today’s Virtual & Augmented Reality market. Historically gamers’ demand for the best graphics has stimulated computer market. There are already great game titles for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Playstation VR and more is on the way. According to a recent report from SuperData Research, the worldwide market for VR gaming will reach $5.1 billion in revenues in 2016 and an install base of 55.8 million consumers. — Remember that Playstation VR has already a 36 million user base with PS 4 — This is an important sign that video games will drive the early adoption of virtual reality. Other industries should closely watch the lessons learned.
The immersive VR startup VOID is an interesting case to be followed. Unlike the other VR game experiences that ties you to a computer, VOID merges physical and virtual worlds and let you play a Matrix-like game in a special theme park.
One of the biggest early adopters of Virtual & Augmented Reality has been the healthcare industry. For years VR & AR has been used as a critical element to train health professionals for surgeries. The greatest advantage of this technology is to offer trainings in a safe environment.
Architects and brokers benefit from VR & AR to sell houses in a highly engaging way. Sotheby’s real estate agents and sales offices for Luma — a new 24-story condominium development in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood — have already started using VR headsets as a sales tool. Virtual Reality offers depth and space that no video can show. The ability to show a realistic view of “currently non-existing spaces” can be quite engaging for potential customers.
Virtual and Augmented Reality technology enables engineers to see and test their projects in a safe environment. Engineers can use VR & AR from the first concept designs through the whole implementation process and make changes accordingly.
Education & Training
One of the biggest application areas for VR & AR are education and training. These applications may be used by military, schools or public and private organizations. VR & AR’s ability to simulate real life scenarios in a safe environment creates endless possibilities to enhance the way we educate kids, train personnel or visualize complex theories without spending vast amount of money.
A virtual reality simulation enables to train the military personnel without the risk of death or a serious injury. In this virtual simulations, particular scenarios can be re-enacted according to the needs.
Live streaming is one of the most compelling use cases for VR to help bring it to the masses. VReal and NextVR are two of the pioneer companies that started offering immersive 3D virtual reality experiences. On April 2016, YouTube introduced 360-degree live video streaming and spatial audio. The official blog post states “What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.” For the time first ever, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) offered fans a different way to view the tournament championship between North Carolina and Villanova — in virtual reality.