Virtual reality headsets have made a storm over the last couple of years, being adopted by global companies such as Sony to progress and create new business opportunities. Up to now, the features appear limitless and it could very be the future of technology considering the strong interest it’s received from other industries. The largest question revolved around VR is its accessibility, with some questioning that this could make or break the technology. It leaves the question of whether virtual reality is the furthest that technology can go, or if there are other potential technologies that can overtake the phenomenon. It would be worth looking into VR’s possibilities and what could be challenging it.
Is VR the future, or simply a trend?
There are arguments to suggest that VR is only starting its journey and there’s more to come from it. At this stage, we’re simply at a “buzz” with the technology, still waiting for it to break through to the masses. According to research company IDC, they expect the technology to have a 118% annual growth between 2017 and 2021, making the fastest growing industry ever.
There are industries that are adopting the technology to provide greater user experiences for their customers, especially in the gaming and real estate industry which it has essentially moulded. It’s expected to be the technology that many companies turn to within those industries to break away from their competition and provide a unique experience.
Many believed that social media would just be a “trend” that would die out. Instead, it has become a global entity that the majority have as a priority in their everyday lives. Social media can be seen similar to VR, in that it’s a means of communication and it will be seen as an effective way to reach customers dynamically.
On the other hand, the struggles that it has taken to reach out to the masses remains the question. Just how many consumers are able to afford the technology in order to put it into good use? The development costs and hardware products can be a lengthy process to manufacture and whether they’ll appeal to the masses considering the costs is questionable.
Where certain industries such as the gaming and medical training sectors excel, other industries such as retail or food could find it difficult to implement it in their business strategies. These are also popular industries that acquire plenty of business from consumers, which could turn out to be a missed opportunity.
What Could Overtake It?
The biggest challenger seen by most to virtual reality is augmented reality. Creating a virtual world creates a space for imagination and creativity, being able to apply that creativity into the real world is something quite extraordinary. Pokemon Go had overwhelming popularity when it was released back in 2016, with users across the country interacting with the game worldwide. It showed that there was a market for the technology, and not just in the gaming industry. Being able to adapt the technology with real-world surroundings provides a great platform, and refined right could become popular in the majority of industries.
Machine intelligence has already become an extraordinary technology that helps to personalise our experience to our real-life situations. Being able to humanise technology to cater to the user’s needs is essentially what all businesses strive for. We see the technology already around us. iPhone users will be familiar with Siri, Apple’s personal assistant found on their handheld devices. As a voice-activated computer, she helps us to find information, send messages, add events to our calendar and more. The machine-learning technology is user enables her to get smarter and predict more accurately our intentions from our questions and requests.
Judging by the facts and figures, it appears that VR could potentially be here for the long run considering much of an impact it’s had so far. Considering the early stages of the technology, there are still plenty of challenges that it requires to overcome, but if they are, the influence that VR can have is likely to make it a dominant force in the tech industry. One thing’s for sure, VR has truly changed the way we interact with our environment and encourages no limit when it comes to our what we can fulfil with our imagination.
Paul Matthews is a Manchester based business writer who writes in order to better inform business owners on how to run a successful business, by collaborating with a branding agency in Manchester. You can usually find him at the local library or browsing Forbes’ latest pieces.