Gurjit Singh
Expert in International Distribution and Ad Sales,
BCCL Worldwide

The Future of Immersive Reality – VR

I have been following VR from quite some time. In fact I remember in 2014, I had got my first VR headset made up of cardboard and a very basic pair of lenses and limited functionality.

Things have changed in 5 years. Today the VR products available in the market are the result of best innovations and expertise in this field, they are jam-packed with new features, they are light, with comfortable fitting and you do not feel like a brick tied to your head.

I personally use one and can say it is a portable multiplex, shopping mall, internet browser, smart TV, and a perfect gaming console.

In short, strap on a VR headset and stereoscopy will get you transported to another world.

Virtual reality has been predicted as the next big thing in entertainment for some time, but only within the last 2 or 3 years, it has started to emerge as a real possibility.

Total VR revenue in the US is projected to grow from USD 3.1 billion this year to USD 7.2 billion in 2022, a growth rate of 38 percent  a year since 2017, according to the annual PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018–2022.

Globally, virtual reality is on track to reach a base of about 50 million units with USD 10 billion in revenue by 2022, according to a different forecast by Digi-Capital.

The US leads the global market in VR revenue. PwC projects there will be 55 million active VR headsets in the US by 2022, with 21 million of them being the newer, portable dedicated type.

The virtual reality market is buzzing on a global level and is about to become a mainstream thing, but the acceptance in India is very slow. Indian market looks awash with VR headsets, compatible mobiles, and apps. However, the concrete sales report or the numbers on VR adoption is still missing for the Indian market. Many start-ups in the country are working on vertical-focused solutions for specific industries such as gaming, real estate, hospitality, and retail but the uptake seems to be slow.

Although many have forecasted VR’s categorical success, others are not so certain about it. Some naysayers have even predicted that VR will be a complete flop, saying it is doomed to the same fate as 3D TV.

The biggest problem with 3D TV was that there simply was not enough content to persuade mainstream consumers to go out and buy expensive new TV sets (it always remained a niche venture). But this is just not the case with VR. Full-fledged VR headsets are generally available to consumers, there are already tons of really cool applications in all sorts of domains, not just gaming to tap the customers.

As screen resolutions, low-cost graphical processing, and consumer-targeted devices continue to improve, VR is going to find its way into more and more homes. As with any rapidly growing technology, predicting the exact impact of VR is difficult, consumers and businesses will eventually decide its overall impact. However, it is fair to assume the impact on the media and entertainment industries will be large.

Anticipation for the technology continues to grow as it becomes more affordable and robust. Consumers stand to benefit from more engaging ways to enjoy media, and businesses can carve out exciting new ways to reach a growing market. There are many articles popping up in the news and a lot of general excitement, many new apps, and games getting developed for the exciting immersive experience. With so many headsets flooded in the market and smartphone-compatible versions of VR already available. One thing is sure, the future of immersive reality looks bright and VR is here to stay.

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