The future of the virtual reality and augmented reality industry is projected to increase exponentially as new and better technology is constantly being developed. According a publication from Zion Market Research, the VR market was currently valued at 2.02 billion in 2016 and is anticipated to reach an estimated 26.89 billion by the year 2022 (John, 2017). Entertainment is already a prominent segment in the VR marketplace, and will continue to grow as a result of the rising demand from consumers. APAC is also forecasted to be the leading region in the industry with the highest growth rate and most revenue by 2022. Much of the focus for VR is in the United States, but China, India, and Japan are increasing development for newer technologies for VR/AR products and is expected bring a large amount of competitors into the future market (John). Currently, the available options for VR content is limited since the technology is still new and emerging. This will create an increase in demand for virtual/augmented reality developers to produce more games and entertainment content (Brown, 2017). Ideally, virtual reality will be more affordable to the general consumer than it is now which would increase sales, marketing, research and development, and many other business operations as the technology becomes cheaper and easier to produce and manufacture. Virtual reality will change what products consumers value when it comes to their entertainment preferences, and it is possible that many current forms of entertainment will in turn be replaced by VR in the future. This is already seen with movie theaters and theme parks who are incorporating VR into their business operations. Also, TV and computer monitors could be replaced by VR headsets in the future, but this does not seem very likely due to the current issues with research and development not having a prime focus on wireless software/hardware. The largest segment that will be impacted is the video game industry. Along with the promising future in virtual reality entertainment there are also pitfalls that come along with new products as they enter the marketplace. It has been noted that the equipment is not widely available due to the high price range for most of the current products. One of the biggest challenges will be for manufacturers to produce more visual appealing products as well as making it more affordable to average consumer (Brown). According to an article in Time magazine, there are two classes of VR systems: the cheaper, portable headset devices that are compatible with smartphone applications (Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard and Daydream) and larger, more expensive systems that must be connected to a PC to provide a more immersive experience for the user (Oculus Rift and HTC Vive). The future of the product development is seen to favor the systems like the Rift and Vive, because it is less likely that the wireless technology for VR will advance on the same level as these PC tethered devices (Eadicicco, 2016). The VR software and hardware development will most likely be to focus on improving the existing physical activity involved using motion sensor technology to enhance touch controls for the user. The goal for VR/AR will be to involve more of the physical aspects of reality to reduce the feeling of it being “virtual.”


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