Virtual reality is the next big thing to change how humans lived in past. First came in the Industrial revolution then came the computer age and now it is time for it. Industrial revolution took less time to evolve & change lives compared to the Agriculture. The computer age was relatively quicker than the industrial revolution. Now, Virtual reality will be even quicker & have the potential of a larger impact than the evolutions before.
What is Virtual Reality?
If defined simply it enables one to choose the environment he wants to be in & more importantly allows to control it. This is completely opposite of the physical environment we live in. And this is the reason Virtual Reality is very compelling & growing at a very fast rate. In it, a computer technology creates a virtual environment first and then with help of a Virtual reality gadgets any person can live or use that environment for different purposes.
It is the next level of computer games in which we used to play till now. Here all of our senses go real and give us the sensation of thrill, fun & joy as in real life. For example, while taking a ride on a roller coaster in a virtual world, a person will feel his stomach upside down, even though it is not real but the senses react to the environment as if it is real.
Virtual Reality Applications
Very first use of it was made in Armed forces, especially Air force. They used virtual reality to train pilots for various circumstances. From there it had expanded into training & simulation. A process which is very expensive or includes life risks, like an expensive machine training or a heart surgery can be simulated in a program. This program then is used to train individuals & professionals. Because of the costs involved & limitation of the technology Virtual reality was limited to industrial use up till recently. But now, with the advent of both the technology & also the readiness of consumers, has made it a market place which will be in highlights for years to come.
Market size for Virtual Reality
Google Cardboard is the most popular VR handset presently, but it is nowhere close to the higher end products with 360 video and other VR which provide real life feelings. Education industry, gaming industry are the major industries which are using VR platform to provide new & better products for consumers. Adults are the main target consumer group for them.
As per a report from “Market & Markets”, by the year 2022 Virtual reality market would touch 30 Billion US dollar with a CAGR of 57.8% between 2016 & 2022. The increase in market size will be mainly because of increasing use of head-mounted displays (HMDs) in the entertainment and gaming sector. The fall in the cost of HMDs & increasing use for training purposes will be other factors to drive growth in the sector. North America & China are supposed to be the first big markets.
Virtual Reality Impact
Suppose you are planning to visit some tourist place for vacation. Generally, people will choose the destination based on the photos, feedback ratings, and videos of the places to go for. Now, what if, a person is able to feel a tourist place by having interaction with the elements of the environment. Will not be it a better way to decide? The answer is definitely yes. And that’s why the Tourism industry is using it tours to increase the number of tourists to their sites. This is a simple example of how it will benefit business & consumer experience.
Concepts of Virtual Museums are also taking place. Gaming & Training industry has already adopted Virtual reality. With the increasing presence of it around us, its impact can no longer be ignored. The Point is about the direction in which Virtual reality will take human beings. As per the evidence from history, all the technologies which had been created to increase value & enhance the consumer experience had unwanted spillover effects, with very few exceptions.
It is because of these unwanted spillover effects that there are many critics to the advancement of technology. Virtual Reality is no exception to it and has many critics who argue for a decrease in the importance of physical world.
It can turn humans into zombies walking around with their gadgets. While living in their virtual world and no interaction with the physical world. Though, this angle needs more in-depth thinking & discussion before giving any weight to it. At this initial stage, things are looking normal but there is a probability of this turning bad.