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Virtual Reality is Growing at a Rapid Pace, Opening up New Markets for Various Industries

Virtual Reality Market Analysis and Commentary

07 Sep 2015 - The truly immersive experience of VR is opening up new markets for various industries to diversify and integrate into. The gaming industry always a pioneer with new technology is leading the way with VR, utilising the fast growing binocular head-mounted displays market which is set to grow 250% next year globally. A burgeoning consumer market for 360 degree single unit cameras is building on the growth of the action camera market, a market driven by Go Pro. To date 7.6 million action cameras were shipped globally last year and by 2016 this will have reached 11.1 million. 360 degree units are expected to take an increasing share of this sector. User generated content is expected to be a key driver for VR moving forward.

B2B applications for training and entertainment/education purposes are also seen to be exciting new areas for VR, e.g. flight simulation or walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for students in India who might never get to see the real thing.

"VR possibilities span beyond gaming, the holy grail for the VR industry is wide scale adoption for movie and television content production, particularly live broadcast which is opening up the medium to a much larger audience," says Sarah Carroll, Director at Futuresource Consulting.

The sports industry is already embracing VR with the NBA and broadcasters like Fox shooting sports events. "Sports and entertainment franchises are very excited about the opportunity of selling seats for live events for those in the stadium and at home to have views from all parts of the stadium directing the content to personalise the experience i.e. back stage, in the tunnel or on the bench, though this presents challenges for content creators and manufacturers in the pro video equipment industry," says Carroll.

Positional audio is also key to making this a truly immersive experience in order to help the viewer navigate the virtual environment and be free to look where they want and hear the appropriate sound.

VR has created a stir among many industries and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. However, it is still faced with some issues to overcome. Consumers expressed their concern and displeasure wearing 3D glasses and the loss of social experience of watching TV in particular may temper the use of headsets, although some may question whether the millennials with their changing viewing habits can shift this paradigm.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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