Virtual reality, an industry to exploit
GlobalData expects the Virtual reality market, worth nearly $ 7 billion in 2018, to grow into a $ 28 billion industry by 2030, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% for that period.
Every year, experts analyze upcoming trends and which technologies will stand out the most. One of the companies specialized in these studies, GlobalData, has just published the report ‘Virtual Reality – Thematic Research’, which details how VR companies are increasingly using artificial intelligence and cloud technologies to develop more robust ecosystems.
Virtual reality has existed, in one form or another, since the mid-1950s. At various times in the last half-century, it has been presented as the next big thing in consumer technology, without ever having reached its potential. Facebook’s $ 2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014 sparked another wave of interest, and its fans, eager to forget VR’s bumpy past, doubled down on the new generation of devices that followed this deal. VR 1.0.
Oculus, Sony, Samsung, Google, and HTC devices all grabbed a niche in the market. Still, RV 1.0 remained a niche concern, popular especially with affluent early adopters and hampered, like previous VR iterations. Due to technical problems and unrealistic expectations. As a result, the sector is once again in transition, moving from RV 1.0 to a second generation that offers the possibility of more widespread adoption.
The integration of artificial intelligence, cloud services, motion tracking, eye tracking, 3D audio, and haptics should enable second-generation VR devices to deliver truly immersive experiences. GlobalData expects the VR market, worth nearly $ 7 billion in 2018, to grow into a $ 28 billion industry by 2030, having built at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% for that period (1).
According to the study, the main trends in virtual reality technology identified are:
- Custom silicon: While the smartphone component ecosystem has so far played a critical role in the evolution of VR, the next wave of innovation is being powered by silicon explicitly built for it. Nvidia and AMD lead the augmented reality chip market, but Qualcomm is a formidable competitor. The company’s Snapdragon XR1 chip, released in October 2018, is the industry’s first RV / RA specific processor.
- 3D Audio: The growing demand for headphone-free headphones, along with the limitations inherent in human eyes, has made it necessary to synchronize images with 3D audio for a truly immersive experience. Digital signal processors (DSP), which improve audio quality and also make devices more potent at the edges, are becoming standard requirements in the VR market. Established players in the 3D audio business, such as Dolby Labs, Panasonic, and 3D Sound Labs, are exploring new growth opportunities.
- Artificial Intelligence: The increasing diffusion of artificial intelligence (2) techniques in VR applications is improving the intelligence of virtual characters and offering a richly immersive environment. Google machine learning tools add 6DoF controller tracking capabilities to any headphone. At the same time, Facebook’s DeepFocus framework uses AI to create focus effects in VR, and LG uses AI to minimize motion sickness among RV users.
- Conversational Platforms: Largely ignored in the virtual reality space, Facebook introduced Oculus Voice in 2017, but the service was too basic-basic. In April 2019, the company announced plans for a new voice assistant on Oculus devices but did not reveal the release date. Google has not yet integrated Google Assistant into Daydream VR and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo. The lack of credible alternatives represents an opportunity for Amazon, which has incorporated Lex into its managed RV / AR Sumeria service.
- Cloud: Promises scalability to VR providers. This will drive innovation in VR upgrades and services on a continuous cycle. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM are expected to benefit from cloud and VR integration in the coming years, as VR companies will increasingly subscribe to their cloud services.
- 5G: It will provide low latency, high density, and more excellent reliability, all of which will benefit the VR industry, since the potential of 5G to support one million devices in a single square kilometer, without the risk of attenuation of the transmission would help the flourishing of this market. Also, telecommunications companies could benefit from the 5G and RV partnership, with their penetration rate, rates, and partnerships with RV providers determining their success…