Since its reappearance on the world stage in 2012 with Oculus Rift’s first crowdfunding campaign, virtual reality (VR) has promised to be a game-changer. And not just for video games, either. Other industries have also begun dabbling with the technology, most notably fashion and retail.
Virtual reality is also poised to reshape a swathe of other consumer industries, as this recent infographic from VR Bound suggests. Examining how VR could infiltrate the entertainment, tourism, healthcare and real estate sectors, the technology’s projected ascension from niche device to ubiquitous media consumption tool is charted – although we’re not convinced that real tourism will be truly overthrown by its digital rendition.
What’s most promising is the retention rate of information transmitted through virtual reality training. With VR, up to 80% of transmitted information can be remembered, says research from Miami Children’s Hospital, compared to a much more modest 20% using more traditional methods. Proving that first-hand experience is humanity’s most effective teacher, VR may revolutionise education by vastly speeding up the learning process, allowing us to acquire more skills, faster, and at a lower cost.
Other observations include:
- Recent virtual reality revenues are modest, with annual earnings less than US$100 million.
- By 2018, sales of VR products are predicted to skyrocket to US$5.2 billion.
- Over the next three years, the number of active VR users is predicted to surpass 170 million.