Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to dominate our lives in the coming years. In fact, Goldman Sachs estimates AR and VR to reach US $ 80 billion by 2025. AR is the technology that brings digital objects into our real world. VR is a digital simulation that immerses people into an artificial, or virtual world.
AR and VR were traditionally used for gaming. Last year, we witnessed the adoption of AR and VR by industries that have been historically cautious in embracing new technologies. Reality technology has been introduced in the educational technology (EdTech) space. Google recently opens its Expeditions VR education app to the public. EdTech firm, Nearpod allows educators to create interactive lessons that can be distributed to student's mobile devices in class. The firm also raised US $ 21 million last year, to further expand the digital content for its library. With the aim to revolutionize healthcare education, The University of Nebraska Medical Center starts building US $ 118.9 million VR and AR training facility. The Singapore government recently piloted the VR technology for social studies education in the five primary schools in March 2017.
When will AR and VR Become Mainstream?
When will AR and VR become mainstream-is still a common and speculative question. Unity CEO, John Riccitiello predicts to see that (VR / AR) in full flower in 2019, and to see the beginning of that shape (of device adoption) in 2018. "He also mentioned that VR hardware has to be cheaper, wireless and more user friendly in order to become mainstream.
Let's walk through two opportunities that we see for AR and VR in 2018.
Price of AR and VR Headset to Drop
The current barriers of mass adoption for AR and VR are the high price and the lack of content available. However, we expect to see these prices to slide even further. In October 2017, Oculus announced the final bundled price of its Oculus Rift Touch bundle as US $ 399, a 50% drop from when they first launched in 2016. The firm also plans to release a standalone US $ 200 wireless VR headset in 2018. In fact , Microsoft has already lowered the price tag of VR headsets in order to encourage the widespread adoption of VR. The cut of the price tag can mean a higher adoption of reality technology.
VR for Entertainment: Beyond Gaming
2018 will be the year where we can anticipate growing use of reality technology for cinematic storytelling. AMC Entertainment will be bringing VR to its movie theaters starting this year. It expects to launch six VR Centers in both the UK and the United States within 18 months. Fox Sports also announced its plans to integrate FIFA World Cup's virtual reality into its event that is happening in Russia. Not only that, fans can also use Telemundo's virtual reality app for 2018 World Cup. The app will allow users to feel like they are in the stadium.
2018 is also the year we can expect the world's first VR theme park to open in China. The Oriental Science Fiction Valley park is a US $ 1.5 billion project located in southwestern Guizhou province. It is set to open by February 2018.