After the hype cools off in 2017, VR for industrial use, not consumer use, will drive VR adoption in 2018
One of the big tech questions on everyone’s minds for 2017 is — Will business VR surpass consumer VR? Fortune Magazine estimates that the VR market will be worth $150 billion within 4 years, and according to Nvidia: “VR is going to touch every industry from gaming to automotive to entertainment…” These estimations beg the bigger question: will it be consumers that drive growth in the use of VR, or will it be businesses? We believe it will be the latter.
As we move into 2017, businesses should be focusing on how to onboard and implement virtual reality applications so they’ll be well-positioned for the “lift off” phase in 2018. According to Forrester Research, “Companies are already putting some of their big budgets into VR. Starting next year, businesses will buy more mid-priced virtual reality gear than consumers will.” Why? Because they either choose to stay competitive or face being left behind when those new technologies take off in 2018.
That opinion comes from our long history and experience selling VR solutions to industry, but also from outside sources who have been studying the VR market closely. Forrester Research Group predicts, “Companies will continue to experiment with AR/VR, setting the foundation for larger implementations in 2018 and 2019.” According to Digi-Capital, virtual reality is the 4th technology wave, behind PC, Internet, and Mobile, and is on the verge of crossing the chasm from the “early adopters/enthusiasts” to the “pragmatists” or early majority.
So, where will we see VR emerge in business? Having been involved with VR since the early 1990’s, we believe that VR will make the most impact in the areas of “communication”. Whether it’s visually communicating designs or communicating the value of a product in a sales meeting, VR is the perfect tool. Why? Because accurately conveying visual ideas to remote decision makers is still a huge challenge for companies. We see it all the time – modern communication technologies such as telephony, video conference calls, and 2D PowerPoint sharing simply cannot bring people together in a collaborative setting or enable decision makers to experience complex 3D concepts, designs, and spaces first hand. VR changes all of that!
Many industries, including aerospace, medical, and oil/gas, are spending an astronomical $1.25 trillion globally, on business travel alone, so their teams can present and share ideas or other vital information face-to-face. VR allows companies to virtually travel to any location for a fraction of the cost, and in some cases, has proven even more effective.
Last November, we announced our VR communication platform, codenamed Skofield. It takes into account feedback from our customers about their business challenges, couples that information with what we know VR is capable of delivering, and provides a means for revolutionizing business communications. We expect more technologies to follow suit.
Now more than ever, industries such as architecture, engineering, and construction are realizing the value of powerful communication tools that bring to life large 3D objects, e.g., buildings, machines, cars, and engines, for their shareholders and consumers to experience. It is only a matter of time before VR becomes standard practice and solidifies its permanent place in industry.
These are exciting times indeed, so are you ready to jump in and ride the virtual reality wave?