More than just an opportunity for enhanced video games or a new generation of The Sims, VR technology is set to explode in the coming years, impacting every single industry, from healthcare to automotive, from a fashion house to a warehouse. VR isn’t just for games. It might change our entire future.
Virtual Reality, or VR, allows users to step into a digitally created, three-dimensional environment. This simulation is equal parts fantasy and innovation as it allows participants to fully immerse themselves in a different world.
Is it time to invest in Virtual Reality?
Get a Whiff Out of This
VR immersive products continue to proliferate across the world. These accessories might include gloves, hats, and suits. Some companies are even working on VR with a sense of smell.
“We believe that by making our virtual experiences better, we improve the quality of our real lives,” reads the mission statement of OVR Technology, a Vermont-based start-up. Their scent-based VR software is not yet available to consumers, but in a few years, that could all change.
More than just the modern scratch and sniff snickers, this VR technology can be used for stress relief, therapy, and high-risk training simulations. The company is optimistic about its future. They say, “It all started with an idea: that activating olfactory receptors and linking them to VR experiences would dramatically increase immersion.”
Exciting Developments in Vr
Companies like Apple and Facebook have struggled to perfect their VR headsets and goggles. “Meta’s headsets are big and cumbersome,” reports the New York Times. Meanwhile, Apple’s goggles can’t yet function without being connected to a hardware device somewhere else on the body.
Despite these setbacks, start-ups and young inventors are working non-stop to bring VR into the mainstream. As a result, the global market size of VR is forecast to hit $296.9 billion in 2024, according to Statista.
Data compiled by Grand View Research estimates that the compound annual growth rate is expected to reach 18%, meaning that VR will grow 18% every year for the next few years.
With an increase in VR technology, businesses across every industry could change how they train employees and interact with customers. A recent analysis from PricewaterhouseCooper suggests that by 2030, 23 million jobs will use VR.
“We’ve come a long way from playing our Nintendo Game Boy, and I’m not mad about it,” Jasmin Diaz told Wealth of Geeks. The Director of Operations for SmokyMountains.com is optimistic about our VR future. “Although some of the first ideas on VR date back to the 1800s, VR today is a whole different field of play,” she says. With its increased roles in education, architecture, and healthcare, VR could use its virtual world to improve our real one.
This Is Only the Beginning
VR could change the way we hire and train employees. “With VR technology, businesses can train employees for situations that are difficult to replicate in real life, like medical emergencies or military operations,” explains Devin Schumacher, the Founder of SERP.
He sees VR as a way to eradicate unconscious bias. “Instead of the interviewer being able to see the race and sex of the candidate,” he says, “the interviewer and the candidate meet in a virtual reality room via headsets.”
As optimistic as he is for our VR future, Devin offers this warning to businesses: stay on top of the legal ramifications. “There will be privacy and data security responsibilities,” he cautions, “as well as intellectual property concerns.”
With VR still in its early stages, this technological landscape can feel like the wild west. “The rules of the road have not been clearly defined. Everything is still shiny and new,” says Taylor Brown, a press representative for Dream Overture, a boutique agency specializing in 3D technology and photography integration.
The future of VR could look a lot like the world of Ready Player One, a place where users are logged in for days at a time, even taking on different appearances than their real-world counterparts. “It will cause a shakeup in the mental states of people and what they perceive as real or virtual,” says Taylor. “Virtual can’t be put back in the box.”
Have We Opened Pandora’s Box?
“VR technology is really in its infancy,” says Robin Diamond, “think of the old Nokia 3360 phones vs. an iPhone.” The CEO and Founder of Fifth & Cor – a marketing and innovation company – believes that while VR advancements can make for a more connected world, these new technologies could serve to widen the gap between the wealthy and the not.
VR will also push the hardware market. “Adding more tools, haptic feedback gloves, suits, connected keyboards, and other device connections will be vital for increased features as well as usage,” says Robin.
For those looking to invest in VR technology, you might also consider the gloves and other accessories that will make or break these VR innovations.
$14.94 million units of VR equipment are expected to be shipped in 2022, a number representing a 54.2 percent increase from 2021’s $9.69 million. If these numbers continue to grow, now is the time to dive headfirst into the world of VR and start investing.
We may not know what the future holds, but if these numbers tell us anything, it’s that VR is no passing fad and may become a permanent fixture of our daily lives sooner than we think.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels.
Justin McDevitt is a playwright and essayist from New York City. His latest play HAUNT ME had its first public reading at Theater for the New City in September. He is a contributor for RUE MORGUE where he lends a queer eye to horror cinema in his column STAB ME GENTLY.