Virtual Reality is here and it will transform how we, learn, interact with each other, perform our work and experience holidays. Companies such as FOVE, OCULUS, PLAYSTATION and HTC have been developing new platforms driven by virtual reality with the sole purpose of inventing a world where human interaction + technology are seamless. Virtual Reality technology will give brands the opportunity to create imaginative environments where we can totally immerse ourselves into unchartered world’s and become modern day explorers.
The VR market is estimated to grow from US $1.37 Billion in 2015 to a whopping US $33.9 Billion by 2022 according to marketsandmarkets.com. That is a CAGR of 57.8% in just 6 short years. This figure, we can say is comfortable achievable due in part to the split revenue streams of software technology and beautiful hardware design within this category. Market leaders in this space are the team at Facebook who bought VR company Oculus in early 2014. Oculus’s has one clear goal in market says Mark Zuckerberg, “Let’s enable people to experience the impossible.” Oculus’s focus will initially be in the gaming sector and tapping into the dreams of a ubiquitous market of Gamers. View featured Valkyrie film here.
In an unprecedented dual with nature, new experiences like stepping into space is now reality, going on a gravity defining theme park rides or even taking a luxury holiday underwater is now possible. And whats even better is that you can do all of this form your living room. When you put on a VR headset, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment. As a user, you will feel like you are in this environment through every sense except scent.
Underwater deep sea diving to unimaginable depths.
Image source: dailydot.com
Super real worlds to explore. Image source: echoba.se
24/7 Theme park rides without the lines. Image source: seite360.de
Oculus Rift. Image source: Facebook
More than entertainment, VR is going to help transform many industries and catapult them into the future. The medical industry uses VR to teach other doctors around the world how to perform surgery on fictitious patients. Dr Shafi Ahmed transported surgery into the 22nd century and created Virtual Surgeon design by his company Medical Realities. Performing the world’s first operation broadcast around the world via VR. The operation immersed viewers into a 360-Degree surgery room right beside Dr Ahmed as he removed cancerous tissue from a patient’s bowel. VR technology will be able to transport students in school back and forward in time, so rather than talking about Martin Luther King delivering his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech or the Beatles performing to a record breaking 55,600 crowd in New York in 1965, they will be able to experience these past and future events as if they were there… learning in the moment.
Doctors live-streaming surgery in VR. Image source: Techinsider.com
In the future, smart cities will change our entire world through connectivity, technology and the IoT. VR is a way in which we can use unconventional senses to perform different tasks. Once such example of this is the VR company FOVE. Fove is a little different to most VR companies as its core focus is their pioneering Eye-Tracking technology. Fove wants to create a VR world that reacts to the emotions of a persons eyes to experience precision control at the speed of thought. More than just a dream, Fove brought their VR technology to life when they gave a physically challenged student the ability to play a piano through blinking his eyes. Working with Fove’s Dev team, the student was able to blink at a variety of panels which then conveyed a response to the piano to play a specific note. View the film.
Student plays a piano through VR set by blinking. Image source Fove.
It’s still early days in market for virtual reality however there are major impacts of mind bending side effects and physical strains that are associated with this new technology. And always the optimist, we look at the opportunities for brands and economic markets.
There are multiple impacts of VR in market already. Some of which stems across a feeling of inertia when walking in world’s with no flooring to further physical side effects of nausea, headaches and psychological issues from using the headset to. One of the main concerns is the expense and time it takes to create VR experiences. Brands can expect to pay hundreds of thousands and even millions to produce valuable VR experiences for their customers. Another concern is that VR worlds also utilise technology platforms from other sources which means software will most likely get out of date and affect end solutions. (One to watch we suspect)
Every new technology these days creates opportunities for new breed designers, the creation of new types of jobs that have never existed before and an appetite for buyer consumption. In the case of VR, it ticks all of these boxes and more. The biggest opportunity is for brands to reinvent themselves and the world’s in which they want their customers to interact and engage with their offerings. VR will appeal to large brands, high-end luxury brands and artisanal types who can raise the funds to create unique experiences for their customers. Never before have brands been able to recreate their worlds right in the homes of their customers.
It’s an exciting new world out there and VR has brought us one step closer to the future.
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