The total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. The VR market is set to grow at an extraordinary rate in the coming years, with revenues from virtual reality software alone forecast to increase by over three thousand percent in four years.
Right now, VR is the most powerful and unique innovation in the tech world which has an extensive adoption by many big players for years to come. It’s definitely a win-win situation for the tech giants to invest in VR industry straight away with many software / hardware / technology available in the market. Last year, the world has already witnessed a number of different VR headsets from tech moguls like Google Daydream, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift in different places like classrooms, offices, medical sectors, supermarkets and so on. But there is a lot to explore in order to experience an exponential growth and an extensive utilization of VR in 2018 within different industries to experience real-world results.
The tech giants are taking big leaps while connecting users with new possibilities on a mission to outreach to passionate VR enthusiasts by creating larger than life environment.
VR in Business – Industry Players
- Retail: V-Commerce
- Entertainment: Virtual-Reality Movies
- Advertising: Samsung’s Gear VR Headsets
- VR in Healthcare
- VR in Education
- VR in Tourism
- Space: Virtual Space Station
The Ultimate VR Trends
Total Immersion beyond Vision and Sound
VR is all about stimulating your senses way beyond one could actually experience in real life. With sound, vision and movement VR is redefining the virtual journey of the audience by creating an out-of-the-world experience through a service, a product or an environment. Until now, most VR experiences revolve around only two senses: sight and sound. However, scientists are already working on incorporating more senses like touch, taste and smell by digitizing these senses to achieve a truly immersive experience. For example, we will be able to feel the heat and smell the smoke while playing any VR games or be able to smell gunpowder while watching a war scene in a film. Apart from sound and light, here smell and touch sensors are used to give the real feelings. Advanced wireless aromatizing devices help to spread the smell at movie theatres, museums to create a tremendous VR ambience for the audience.
Recently, at the 2017 Tokyo Game Show, we have seen the VAQSO VR – a scent enabling device with the size of a Snickers bar. It’s claimed to be the “world’s smallest virtual reality scent device” and it can be attached to any VR Headset, regardless of its kind.
The addition of such extra elements opens the door for many VR developers to experiment and develop applications to make VR as totally immersive as possible across a wide range of industries.
V-Commerce: Real-time Shopping
VR is undoubtedly the new face of future e-commerce: V-Commerce. As an essential part of retail’s future, more and more 3D experiences would be employed to engage customers and retain their attention. For instance, consumers will have the capacity to try on clothing and see other products before they buy them right from the convenience of their home. Consumers will be allowed to download and print a 3D mold to ensure the comfort and fit.
The recent progress in the industry has been initiated by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant in the year 2016 who has already revealed a unique shopping experience through its brand-new initiative ‘Buy+’ that added 30,000 people in just a couple of days. A week later, this figure crossed eight million users. A week later, the figure touched 8 million from 30,000 shoppers.
Given the opportunity, it is expected that many other e-commerce businesses and retailers will follow the footsteps of Alibaba in a years’ time. This helps them to increase and improve their existing portfolio and increase their customer base while surpassing the limits of our imagination.
Social VR will Advance
Today, none of us can escape the fact that Social Media is an integral part of our daily lives and there is no wonder that it is entering to the VR sphere jet speed. Although, VR social applications are not new to the industry, but the sector is evolving quickly since past years with promising scope for the future. Facebook has already started using the power of VR through Surround 360, a newly developed camera-intense 360-degree recording device equipped with 14 cameras to offer users 360-degree photos and videos live on feeds. The purpose is to promote user-level interactions through the channel.
Other popular social media channels such as YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram etc. are already taking major efforts to make a greater impact using VR. With the ongoing affordability and popularity of wearable VR technology, many social media giants are expected to apply VR outside of video games and cinema.
More Innovative VR Tools
Experts say that the release of a wide range of tools which would enable people to create as well as publish VR content without putting that much of an effort. This means we can see more interesting kind of stuffs such as MindShow which allows users to create their own, thrilling and character-driven movies in VR. However, future tools like MindShow doesn’t require users to upload the full 360 video but rather a traditional 2D rendering on YouTube, while creating a far expensive 2D video which would meet the necessary delivery standard. The whole purpose is to tell stories through a spatial medium that works in advance without the necessity for proper installation.
VR in Advertising
The industry that constantly leverages the latest technology to advertise effectively is surely digging dip into VR ecosystem. Luckily, VR tech can easily take advantage of users’ social profiles by integrating in-game advertising to display relevant advertisements or content through a simulated reality. This is expected to have a huge impact on the overall customer’s experience and journey. For instance, a user is playing a racing simulator, all of a sudden on the side of the track show on the board, an advertising of their favorite gadget pops up. Using Google Cardboard, Volvo puts its users in driver’s seat of the new XC90 SUV for a pleasing virtual ride. The infinite potential of VR makes it adaptable to almost any industry specially the possibilities for advertising are virtually unlimited.
VR is the future, something that we kept depicting in movies for decades. The actual application of VR is endless and it is here already with its vast potential to leave slower brands in the dust and encourage early adopters to move forward with all its glory. It is wiser to say that companies should buckle up and start investing sooner in VR tools and software in order to stay ahead of the VR movement. Experts believe that 20 years from now, we’ll be using an entirely new platform we haven’t yet heard of. Although it is difficult to say how much progress VR holds for us in the next few years. But the technology will become a commonplace and developers will focus on it to enrich customer experiences.