The global virtual reality market was estimated at USD 15.81 billion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 18.0 percent forecast from 2021 to 2028. Virtual reality is a digitally generated experience that simulates a three-dimensional environment in the real world. With the support of VR accessories such as headsets or glasses, gloves, and bodysuits, the technology provides audiences with an immersive experience. The technology has revolutionised the gaming and entertainment industries by enabling users to immerse themselves in a highly interactive environment. Furthermore, the growing use of this technology in instructive training, such as training mechanics, engineers, pilots, combat soldiers, field personnel, and technicians in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors, is propelling market development.

Where to next?

Apart from training and educational purposes, the technology is commonly used in a variety of industries for a variety of other purposes. For example, it helps engineers experiment with a vehicle’s design and layout at the concept level before embarking on costly prototypes in the automotive industry. With the aid of VR exposure therapy, the device is now being used to treat patients with mental health issues. Furthermore, using augmented reality technology, the tourism industry allows potential tourists to take a virtual tour of landmarks, famous cities, restaurants, and hotels. As a result, the market’s growth is being fuelled by the increasing adoption of virtual reality in a variety of industries for a variety of applications.

Virtual Reality Gaming

Virtual reality games can be played on standalone platforms, specialised game consoles, or advanced laptops and PCs capable of powering popular VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Lenovo Mirage Solo. Virtual reality gaming includes subsets that employ similar technologies such as augmented reality and mixed reality, in which virtual elements are inserted into the player’s real-world environment as seen through a headset or camera.

Individual virtual reality games and multi-player virtual reality games are available. Some VR games immerse players in physical activity. In contrast, others, such as auto racing and acrobatic flight, include less confrontational pursuits. Other VR games require players to solve puzzles, move objects, or discover new locations, either alone or with others, to enhance their gaming experience.

However, in VR, as in all technology fields, we’ll see stuff that makes what’s cutting-edge today look like Space Invaders in the coming years. And, while the games themselves will be incredible, the ramifications of this transition will be far-reaching, affecting our jobs, schooling, and social lives. Today’s most common VR applications require total control of a user’s senses (mainly sight and hearing) to create a fully immersive experience that immerses the user in an entirely virtual environment that feels relatively realistic.

When you climb something high and look down, you’re likely to experience vertigo. You’ll feel compelled to duck out of the way if you see something moving rapidly towards your head. VR developers will soon expand this sensory hijacking to our other senses, such as touch and smell, to further enhance our sense of immersion. Simultaneously, the devices we use to access these virtual worlds will become less expensive and lighter, eliminating the friction that can be a barrier now.

The extended reality, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, will be one of the most groundbreaking technological developments in the next five years, in my opinion. Other technological trends, such as super-fast networking, would empower and augment VR as a cloud service, similar to how we currently consume music and movies. Artificial intelligence will give us more customised virtual worlds to explore, as well as realistic virtual characters with whom we can share our experiences.

In several ways, it makes sense that there may be two markets for VR entertainment consumption, at least in its early stages. Although the most immersive and impressive technology is large, costly, and requires technical expertise to operate, it is more feasible to offer it in dedicated venues rather than at home. Stay-at-home options can have something a little less spectacular but more convenient.