There are now reported to be over 170 million active virtual reality (VR) users worldwide. As the popularity of the technology increases so does its quality. Recent VR headset releases produce a far better visual output than the original designs released in the 1990s. With the use of VR technology ever increasing, what are the likely uses for the technology in the immediate future? And will the demand for VR technology continue its exponential rise in 2021?
Gaming Boosts Recreational Usage
A major factor in the recent success of VR technology has been its link to the gaming industry. VR headsets are now compatible with a range of gaming consoles, and as such, the quality of the games produced has increased notably in the last decade. First-person shooter games like Superhot and Half-Life: Alyx has revealed demand for a new genre of VR games. There have also been links with the ageless Tetris game, and the Star Wars film franchise has also introduced VR gaming to a whole new audience.
VR headsets do not come cheap, which is a put-off for potential gamers, but fortunately, there is currently a range of free VR games on the market. Providing the free to play option is a tactic that has been successfully used by other industries to attract new customers to their sites – including in the online gambling sector. The popular casino review site BonusFinder recently wrote an article on how to try online casinos in the UK without depositing any cash. Whilst the price of VR technology may currently seem expensive, it is likely that this will level off as it becomes a more mainstream part of gaming culture. Perhaps in the future lessons from the online casino industry could be applied here and there may be a site with free VR games and demos.
Employee Training and Education
It may be perceived by many that VR is used predominantly for entertainment purposes, however, a recent report found that VR games make up less than 7% of the technology’s overall usage. More and more businesses are beginning to use VR as a means of training new and existing employees. Retail giant Walmart has used VR headsets to prepare employees for particularly demanding situations – such as the Black Friday sales. This use of VR technology to prepare for real-life expands to the sports arena, with a notable example being Golf, where VR is used by both professional and amateur players to replicate situations encountered on the physical green.
By the year 2030, it is estimated that over 20 million jobs will be using augmented reality and virtual reality in some context. To prepare for this, VR is being increasingly used in classrooms as a way to educate children. With almost 20% of US consumers estimated to have used VR technology in the last year, it is perhaps no surprise to see the USA leading the way when it comes to VR investments by country. This is with over $5 billion invested in the technology by the US alone in the year 2019.
With the uses for VR increasing as the technology becomes more widely available, expect more countries to begin looking at VR as a good investment opportunity in the immediate future. Should this happen, expect 2021 to be another great year in the rise of VR technology.