What the Rise in the Number of VR Users Tells Us - VRLife

If You Think VR Is Just a Fad, Think Again

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A lot of individuals out there have heard about virtual reality. And more VR users are popping out of nowhere, but still, there are yet some who think it’s just a fleeting craze. However, there are fewer who live in realities that are in direct opposite to that chain of thought.

On May 12, 2016, Oculus disclosed that more than one million people made use of the Gear VR by Samsung in the month of April alone. They said that developers have produced way over 250 games and applications, which just shows just how much these developers are drawn to virtual reality platforms.

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What Does the Increasing Number of VR Users Imply?

Although it appears quite petite as regards to number of pieces distributed, it is imperative to take into cognizance that even though only 6 months have passed since the release of Samsung’s Gear VR, the number of VR users and the demand for the tech is growing steadily.

“If you stand back and get beyond all the geeks shouting about it, you could say these numbers deliver cautious optimism for the potential of VR and 360 degree content,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, informed CNBC over a phone interview. “VR isn’t just something that’s a thing that goes on you head. But it is also about the fact we are seeing a whole ecosystem built around it and with the marketing Samsung and Facebook are putting behind it, it’s getting more prominent in the consumer consciousness.”

Content explosion

And this growth in the number of VR users shows no sign of slowing down. It is purported that by this year’s end about 6.3 million VR headsets will be shipped worldwide. Another research by CCS Insights predicts a VR headset growth volume of 96 million by the year 2020, valued at $14.5 billion. This explains why the “big guns” in tech HTC, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Facebook are very eager to hop on the VR train. However, a very vital part of VR that may finally be the wings on which VR will soar is content—and these tech giants have realized it.

 

 

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An imperative fact noted by Facebook’s Oculus pointed that 7 out of 10 of the most used VR contents and also that in the last month, almost 80 percent of Gear virtual reality users saw a video content. Presently, Samsung seeks to exploit that opportunity using its fresh new Gear 360 camera announced earlier in the year.

In the light of that, YouTube and Facebook who have billions of subscribers now support 360 photos and videos. Facebook stated, Wednesday that 360 will no longer be featured exclusively on a separate section on the site but now on users news feed. This change would lead to increased availability of VR content to more people.

“With the addition of affordable hardware we are going to see an explosion in content,” Daniel Colaianni, co-founder of VR Bound, a virtual reality product price comparison site start-up. “It is a good thing and a bad thing. So far the content has been for people who can afford to do it. But what’s going to happen, just like when you go onto YouTube, there is a whole world content and some is not very good. But then you will get that special spark which comes through.”

Now beyond geek phase

It now very obvious that gaming wouldn’t hold the majority in the bright future of virtual reality. Several other industries such as the professional production firms are getting in on the fad. Mobile phone giants Nokia and Disney have already struck a deal to that effect for the latter to use OZO, Nokia VR camera, to produce 360⁰ contents. Medical professionals have not been left out also.

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Media reports purported that Google is working on releasing a stand-alone (wireless) VR headsets at their I/O event, showing that it is seeking to gain more ground in the VR space.

The signs are visibly positive with tech giants strongly behind VR tech.

“There are lots of signals which mean that it can start move beyond geek phase to early adopter and consumer phase,” Wood said.

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