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Predictions for the Virtual Reality Industry in 2016

What we should expect happening with VR in 2016
May 18, 2016
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Virtual reality is no longer the future; it’s the present and already here. Although it’s much better than we dreamed of, it still has a lot of room for improvement. Industry giants such as Google, Sony, Samsung, Playstation, HTC, Valve, and Oculus take advantage of the VR technology and lead the way toward a bright future.

But the community of developers, designers, architects is preparing a fully immersive virtual reality for us with the help of headsets and joysticks.

VR started its development in military and academic laboratories in the 1980s; however, people were not prepared for its appearance, so the technology stayed in the lab waiting for the right time to appear. Contemporary VR boom is very similar to the computer one that occurred a few years ago. Today, VR technology is relatively affordable for consumers and continues to increase more and more in popularity.

With tons of developers all over the world and millions investing in VR every quarter, the virtual reality industry has made significant developments. A lot of startups and solid development companies have already made its contribution and have turned VR into a noticeable and rapidly growing industry. In order to help you realize what is expected to happen in the world of VR, Program-Ace prepared a list of predictions about the upcoming trends and focuses.

Prediction # 1: It Will Be a Long Road for VR

Even though industry giants made VR technology affordable for the average user and solved complex technical tasks, the technology still has a long way to go. Today, there are a lot of technologically-advanced wearable devices that can help people to immerse themselves in VR; however, these devices can and should be improved. For instance, in 2015, haptic technology was extremely expensive and unavailable for mass consumption. We believe that VR systems with haptic sensors will be enhanced, new functionalities will be added, and transmission speed will be improved by the end of this year. Although VR technology is considered to be powerful and beyond the limits of imagination today, it still has plenty of room for growth.

Prediction #2: Mobile-First is not Only for Websites

In contrast to web technology, VR from the very beginning has been linked to computers. The VR stream is possible for viewing only if you use a mobile or portable device, VR device, or a PC or laptop. There are more complex VR systems that require even more equipment and accompanying hardware, but they are not very common. Consumers adopt mobile-based VR head-mounted displays (HMD) because they are affordable and can give them an immersive VR experience using a mobile phone without leaving their house.

Even though PC and console VR equipment are extremely trendy, VR HMDs are also popular because they run on mobile devices. Moreover, they present a compelling and immersive 360-degree video stream for a reasonable price, around $100 for mobile VR systems or even less for Google Cardboard.

In the future, mobile VR will be improved and advanced with audio technology and haptic sensors. These devices are expected to gain more and more fans.

Prediction #3: Investments are the Future of the VR Industry

Developers create exciting VR content using different game engines, tools, and frameworks. This software helps develop amazing real-life experiences and enter the world of virtual reality. For that reason, many people invest in the VR industry and particularly in platforms and tools that are aimed at making VR better.

Currently, investment funds are critical for the VR industry that relies on experiments, trials, and errors before it becomes fully immersive.

Prediction #4: It’s All About the Content

Virtual reality is a content-driven industry and is ready to improve the quality of providing information significantly. The area of VR has plenty of room for competition. A truly amazing VR is a spectacular audio and 360-degree video presentation that creates an effect of immersion into the real world. We expect the developers to improve the VR content quality in terms of graphics and realism.

Prediction #5: VR Will Be Much More Than Just Games

A widespread misconception is that virtual reality is only suitable for entertainment in the form of games. However, that is not true. VR indeed helps make games deeply engaging and irresistible, but it’s also used in many industries such as graphic design, the military, manufacturing, healthcare, education and so forth, thanks to its compelling and immersive effect. Virtual reality is the perfect environment for performing specific tasks, for instance, military training, hardware visualization, or educational simulations. In addition, VR adds physicality to the digital world, making it look more like real life.

Virtual reality will be improved and deployed across many more areas in 2016.

Prediction #6: Haptic Sensors Will Change Everything

For the past years, head-mounted displays were the only opportunity to enter the virtual world. However, everything changed a couple of months ago when HTC announced the release of Vive, the headset with hand-tracked controllers that catch haptic information. For the first time in history, average users received an opportunity to interact with virtual reality just as easily as they can observe it. For that reason, with the development of VR, we can predict the improvement of VR productivity and occurrence of new companies involved in the creation of virtual reality hardware.

Conclusion

Virtual reality is an incredibly innovative technology that represents the capability of the high-tech world. But the current state of VR has not reached its limit for this industry. The future promises major improvements in screen resolution, graphics quality, and the level of realism. The companies that consider VR in any regard should take a closer look at the market. Customers want a more immersive, more engaging, more realistic virtual experience. Recent releases of breakthrough VR devices only prove that consumers’ appetite is going to go in any direction.

Program-Ace entered the market of VR applications a long time ago. Working with our professional team is the best way to start your next virtual reality project. We offer full-cycle development services from the idea to deployment across a variety of platforms.

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