Why Virtual Reality Is Going To Be Worth Virtually $30 Billion By 2020
Being able to enter a new world and experience things that you would normally never do is one of the main selling factors behind virtual reality. But how is a headset with two lenses worth billions of dollars?
Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds.
By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.
Statista.com estimates that the virtual reality hardware market size is going to be worth $5.2 billion by 2020. Combined with virtual reality software market size of $25.8 billion by 2020, the overall market will be worth $30 billion.
The Top Players in VR:
Facebook - You probably know that Zuckerberg bought Oculus Rift. That has meant some great development for the technology. Zuckerberg has wanted people to essentially use Facebook as their portal to all their web surfing, and he wants to extend this to the virtual experience.
Alphabet - One of the main reasons this VR player is a no-brainer is that it’s the holding company of Google. Alphabet has all the logistics and distribution channels in a row, owning Youtube and producing Google Cardboard. Already off to this good start, Alphabet is ramping things up.
Sony - Sony’s PlayStation VR headset seamlessly combines the hardware with content, making it a very viable player. Sony’s VR playing experience does include, in addition to a 360-degree view, the ability to walk through environments, to turn around, etc. Games like DriveClub, Valkyrie, Dead Secret, Golem, and Wayward Sky are popular in this infant technology.
Applications of Virtual Reality:
- Army — Training soldiers for combat situations or other dangerous settings where they have to learn how to react in an appropriate manner. A virtual reality simulation enables them to do so but without the risk of death or a serious injury.
- Education — It enables large groups of students to interact with each other within a three dimensional environment. It is able to present complex data in an accessible way to students which is both fun and easy to learn.
- Business — VR is cost effective way of developing a product or service. It enables a business to test a prototype without having to develop several versions of it which can be time consuming and expensive. Plus it is a good way of detecting design problems at an early stage which can then be dealt with sooner rather than later.
The Potential Roadblocks for VR:
The equipment used for VR is very expensive. With any early stage technology there are a host of issues to overcome. Among the first is the cost for consumers to participate. Many systems run between $100 and $600 and we have not yet discussed the cost of purchasing experiences or games.
Users may be less inhibited than in real life due to a sense of anonymity and may act in a way that is socially unacceptable. Many people may become addicted to living in these virtual worlds, and as a result, forget or neglect their responsibilities in real life.