Real virtual meeting and gaming experience reflect the two core aspects for the expansion of Virtual Reality (VR) applications and over the years several companies across industries started adopting the technology for various training and simulation process. For example, VR technology is primarily employed in the aviation sector as it offers a smooth facility for flight simulation and, as a result, many commercial airlines have been extensively using the technology for pilot training. This is a similar case with the military and defense sector as governments around the world are constantly focused for upgrade and modernizing their defense mechanisms and equipment. So, VR plays a crucial role for military advancement. Taking into account the vital function of simulation process in the healthcare industry, VR is widely adopted for surgery as medical professionals need to have a good first-hand experience of surgical processes in simulation environment before handling the actual patient.
Among these industries, the education sector shows a promising revenue segment for VR application. Several research dictate that integration of digital and virtual reality market technology in academic teaching help students to grasp and retain the knowledge for longer period of time. VR application in the education sector, no doubt, is one of the major areas for massive expansion of the VR market worldwide in the near future. Moreover, the buzzword such as “metaverse” relates to the expansion of virtual interaction expansion in social media platforms. Over the recent years, a handful of business tycoons including Meta Platforms, Inc.’s (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg have announced a series of plan to expand the metaverse world to connect employees or clients using visual platforms. Zuckerberg believes that metaverse is the future of his trillion-dollar company, which makes to offer its users to socialize, play, and work together digitally.
Understanding VR and its Functions
To many people, VR and metaverse are often used interchangeably as they are closely connected. However, metaverse refers to a connected multiple virtual environment that offers 3D virtual spaces created by users and to access these virtual platforms, we need to download app to our VR devices. On the other hand, VR is a computer-based technology that creates a virtual environment where people can meet and interact in a virtual world. It creates a 3D virtual environment, a simulation situation to perform or facilitate specific functions that imitates the real physical world or environment. Mostly, devices such as VR goggles and other mobile-based devices are used to make the users experience 3D environment and feel that they are immersed in their virtual surroundings.
Whatever we see through VR looks real and users mostly appear themselves to be immersed in the 3D virtual environment. One key concept of VR is that the users are the ones who control the 3D environment and this is normally performed using VR headset for a wearable head-mounted display (HMD) or a pair of goggles. In general, we have three types of VR simulations namely non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully-immersive simulations. Additionally, a smartphone user can also feel the experience of VR using the smartphone as VR headsets. The technology can collect data as per the facial muscle movement that helps in analyzing users’ health conditions and emotions. Using simulation, a user can touch, hear, and see a vision within the environment.
Diverse Software and Tools for VR and Key Manufacturers
The VR market is gradually expanding across industries and companies associated with the developing of gaming or e-sport are far ahead in terms of using VR equipment and software to ensure the best experience of the players. Apart from gaming experience, many manufacturers undertake to develop various advanced software to implement them for a range of activities to create 3D designs and assets. The followings are the names of leading VR manufacturers and their existing software for various performance.
Oculus, a US-based VR platform provider, is one of the major brands for virtual platforms that manufactures VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest. It is a subsidiary of Meta Platforms, Inc. that assembles software called Medium, which is a comprehensive tool for creating 3D design. Using this tool, a user can model and paint of the design created. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company reported a surge in sales of VR headsets especially Oculus Quest 2 software. The revenue of the software was nearly double in the second half of 2020.
Microsoft, a US-based tech giant, has emerged as a key service provider for both VR and Augmented Reality (AR) owing to its formidable position in the IT industry globally. Ranging from 2016’s Pokémon Go to Snorlax, the company extended its advanced gaming platforms using VR software. In November, 2018, Microsoft launched its latest VR product called HoloLens, the first HMD device facilitated under the Windows Mixed Reality platform. The product can link to Kinect, which is an add-on for Microsoft's Xbox game console. The company, in March 2021, launched a cost-effective software tool called Mesh, which can enhance VR content and help creators to provide wonderful experience of holographic world. It also widely known for VR PC and mobile platform development.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung, a South Korea-based globally leading electronic company, has been extensively linked for the development of VR gears in their products to enhance 3D VR experience of consumers. In November 2015, the company launched its latest virtual reality headset, Samsung Gear VR with the help of Oculus. In July 2018, Samsung entered into a collaboration with NASA to initiate the daring program called “A Moon for All Mankind” (AMFAM), a 4D Lunar Gravity VR experience.
HTC, a Taiwan-based consumer electronics company, offers VR products under its popular brand called The HTC Vive. It develops various headset and tools under the brand name such as VIVE Focus Series, VIVE accessories VIVE Cosmos Series, and VIVE Pro Series. In May 2019, HTC Vive entered into a deal with SYNNEX Corporation to boost the delivery of its VR solutions to business enterprises. As per the deal, the resellers got access to HTC VIVE's VR offerings.
Google, a US-based Internet giant, provides a variety of VR headsets, software, cameras, sensors, and development tools to satisfy the needs of end-users. The company focuses on expansion of software that are associated with educational VR and AR platforms. The technology giant released its latest cardboard VR headset, the ‘Google Cardboard’ that cost USD 15, which has to be linked using smartphones or devices for various interaction with several apps and games. The concept of excellent VR platform has pushed the company to release its idea, “the Google Daydream View” to expand the far-extensive exploration of VR world.
Opportunities of VR Future
VR has become of the major emerging digital platform that clearly transformed the idea of virtual environment, digital assets, and simulation process. Owing to its rising applications and advantages for analysis of 3D designs, several marketing experts suggest that the future of VR platforms are very promising and its expansion of its platforms globally would be exponentially increased due to massive allocation of investment funding. Technological advancement for the development of innovative VR headsets and wide penetration of Internet along with the rapid expansion of new-generation platforms such as 5G will surely bring a drastic change in the VR system sale in the coming years.