AR & VR Adoption in India

Published 17 January 2018, 10:05

The main driver of adoption of AR / VR in India is the emergence of 4G technology and high-speed communication combined with the increasing number of smartphone users. Operators of Reliance Jio's local cellular network have made 4G accessible to rural residents, while the number of smartphone users in India (currently 160 million) is expected to exceed the US in two years.

At present, India is flooded with VR gadgets (for example Oculus, Samsung Gear VR, Sony PlayStation VR, etc.) at reduced prices. The growing interest in VR equipment among mobile users, the availability of entry-level VR headsets in the market, and the encouragement of mobile device makers has played an important role in increasing the VR market in India.

There are also several technology applications that are very diverse such as:

Healthcare: Projected to be an industry worth US $ 280 billion by 2020, the health care industry in India sees more AR and VR applications, especially in cities such as Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. Hospitals and health centers use VR to help treat cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in solidarity.
Aerospace: AR makes crew training more efficient and effective in assisting engineers in aircraft inspections and problem solving. Other applications currently being explored are safety and security simulations, maintenance training, knowledge sharing, and development of an assessment and monitoring framework, among others.
Education: Some Indian institutions use VR in laboratory exercises, data visualization, and simulation.
Other: Loopfit, a Hyderabad-based startup, provides indoor fitness solutions using VR. AR is also used in emergency response with 3D mapping, virtual compass, target location, and other navigation capabilities.
With 4G now in India, AR / VR applications on the internet, smart infrastructure, electronic services, and public security, among others, are also being explored.

Although there are stars that align the Indian VR market, there are still many concerns. India still lags behind its more advanced counterparts such as China, the US and Japan.

In China, the government supports VR development with a president who recognizes the technological contribution to "an innovative world economy." The US is expected to be the top driver in AR / VR in the coming years.

While the AR / VR industry in India sees adoption, infrastructure is still lacking, and consumer / investor perceptions need to be changed.

As mentioned earlier, 4G services have just been launched in this country, and only cover 12 percent of total mobile subscriptions in 2017 (although it is expected to increase to 60 percent by 2023).

In addition to technical problems, consumers in general do not realize the VR potential - they still consider the technology a luxury. Meanwhile, investors see this industry as a new and untested market. They want to see strong demand before investing in it.

Other concerns include the absence of a pathetic and deeply bagged startup and cheap domestic VR producers, and consequently import costs.

In the short term, this is probably the most important challenge that must be faced. But most importantly, public awareness is slowly increasing. And as the country goes into its development agenda, we hope to receive more technology in the years to come.

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