Virtual Reality Can Change Lives, According to Tech Analysts
We have seen virtual reality employed in so many sectors and with a lot of success to back it up. It has found so many uses that range from cutting down on errors during medical procedures, in education, tourism, and shopping. The technology has gone far beyond gaming, and according to experts, virtual reality it is changing lives.
Analysts Talk About How Virtual Reality Is Changing Lives
VR is the buzz industry at Asia’s largest tech fair, Computex, held in Taipei, Taiwan, which hopes to become a development hub for virtual reality technology. But while VR is currently aimed at gamers, experts predict it will eventually be about much more than entertainment.
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“We know that gaming will be the first wave of revenue and gamers the first wave of consumers, but our vision is larger than gaming,” said Raymond Pao, vice president of VR New Technology at Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, which recently released its first VR headset, Vive. Pao says any industry that could use 3D may well end up exploiting the technology.
There are a lot of big names behind the VR movement, including HTC, Samsung, and Facebook—each with its own immersive experience platform. This alone is enough to make experts believe that virtual reality is changing lives and that this market is only going to get bigger. Some of these tech companies have branched into the health care sector and we now have virtual reality–assisting surgeons in complicated procedures. It is also finding applications in other sectors like education and tourism.
“What we learn from textbooks or labs can be really dull, but VR and AR will greatly enhance learning abilities,” Zhu Bo, founder of InnoValley, a Chinese start-up investor based in Shenzhen, told AFP. “It can also be used in e-commerce. In the future, you will step into a real scene, you can see the products on the shelves, touch and feel them. So our shopping experience will totally change.”
Where It’s All Headed
It is estimated that the worldwide market for virtual reality will hit the $5.1 billion this year, and it is estimated to hit twice that in 2017 according to Taipei-based market intelligence provider TrendForce. Sony is also unveiling its PlayStation headset this year, and Google is developing a new platform called Daydream. ARM, a British firm, also made their plans public for their new processors, which will allow smartphones to run virtual reality and augmented reality.
The current VR products in the market are capable of immersing the user in a movie or a game on their won and this could limit the technology from catching on with consumers according to experts.
“A lot of times with the demos, they are single user experiences. You just kind of go, ‘Oh, that was fun,’ and walk away,” said Justin Hendrix, executive director of NYC Media Lab, an academic research group funded by tech companies.
“VR and AR is not hype, it’s an era,” said Zhu. “In another three to five years, it will affect everyone’s life.”