Why VR Will Finally Take Off In 2016?
Virtual reality has long been on the market, yet its adoption is still considered slow compared to other wearables. Late last year, Gartner reported that mature markets will use and own three to four devices per person by 2018, but it’s unlikely that bulky VR headsets will be one of them.
“Main devices will include smartphones, tablets, convertibles (two-in-one devices) and notebooks, and will contribute to more than two devices per person at any time,” according to Gartner’s report. “Niche devices will include a growing range of wearables such as smart watches, health bands, smart glasses and new types of connected devices such as smart cards, e-readers and portable cameras.”
However, regardless of the consumer’s hesitancy to virtual reality technology it is expected to see significant growth this year. Here’s why we think so:
Mobile Devices to Drive Adoption
Smartphones and tablets are now becoming more powerful than ever before, offering gamers seamless experiences while playing high definition and graphic intensive games. From premium handsets to even the budget-friendly ones, all are now offering a great gaming experience to users.
In particular, industry leaders like Apple is said to be focusing on improving gaming capabilities, especially on the recent iPhone 6s, with it having the ability to run HD games from iTunes. O2 mentioned that the handset now runs the most advanced A9 chipset with 64-bit architecture and integrates a M9 motion coprocessor into the handset.
The company is also reported to have hired hundreds of people to work secretly for their VR team, which have been building prototype headsets for several months now, according to technology website, The Verge.
Of course, other mobile manufacturers have already showcased their best VR headsets to the world, including major players in the smartphone arena such as Sony, Samsung, and even Microsoft.
Competition Will Drive Prices Lower
Although this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, experts have been predicting that the competitive VR market place will result in lower prices. We recently heard that Facebook was joining the craze as Mark Zuckerberg announced they successfully acquired Oculus Rift in March 2014.
“Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home,” he wrote when he announced Facebook’s acquisition of the company. “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.”
Some tech companies outside the US are also working on their own VR headsets, which are set to be revealed this year. The increasing amount of competition will force some companies to lower their prices down to get more people to purchase their devices.
Investors Are Eager to See Result
For the longest time, the public were only exposed to a slew of prototype VR headsets, with the majority of these predicted unaffordable for the common consumer. Thus, many investors were uncertain whether this technology would ever prosper.
But, it seems investors are now more eager to see initial proof of concept where a combined investment worth of $6.1 billion is predicted with a projected 55.8 million consumer base this year to aim at, as reported by Super Data Research. It is said to trigger current market momentum and the growing industry expectations.
Perhaps, the only problem left here is how well the tech companies are able to sell these technologies, as “virtual reality is notoriously hard to actually sell.” Given that it’s still considered an optional gaming peripheral, many gamers don’t see the real importance of investing in VR headsets. However, once more VR games hit the market then an expected spike of gamers will draw more interest towards the headsets.
Exclusively written for Virtual Reality Reporter by TechnoloJee