Google and Apple Developments Behind Projected $120.5 Billion Virtual Reality Market

by Ruth Seeley

From the earliest days of modern attempts at virtual reality (VR), including the Sensorama in the 1960s and scratch and sniff books in the 1970s, the potential for VR to transform the way we live, work, and socialize has been eagerly anticipated. Virtual reality now plays a significant role in learning and development, from entertainment to education, training, and travel, virtual reality offers a real-time experience to its users.

According to a published report by Fortune Business Insights titled, “Virtual Reality Market: Global Market Analysis, Insights, and Forecast, 2018-2026,” the global Virtual Reality Market is anticipated to reach $120.5 billion by 2026, as against $7.3 billion in 2018, thereby exhibiting a CAGR of 42.2% during the forecast period. VR is advancing at a fast pace and is starting to be used in the automotive sector. Besides the integration of voice assistants, vehicles nowadays come integrated with several advanced features to offer improved driver safety. Spurred by these factors, the global virtual reality market share is expected to increase considerably in the near future.

Virtual Reality Market Analysis Until 2026

Virtual reality has the ability to stimulate the environment via head-mounted displays, helping a user to interact and explore. Growing technological advancements in virtual reality are likely to generate plenty of VR solutions, allowing the real-time experience to customers. This, in turn, is expected to drive the virtual reality market growth in the forthcoming years.  

The demand for virtual reality applications is increasing in healthcare, gaming and entertainment media, automotive, manufacturing, and other industries. Of these, gaming and entertainment media covers 40.5% of the global virtual reality market share. The adoption of virtual reality technology is likely to increase in the education and healthcare industry, thus boosting the virtual reality market size. The technology can be used for providing training, monitoring patients, and practicing surgeries. As per research studies, virtual reality is expected to be the future of online learning. For instance, an education technology start-up called 3rdFlix raised around US$5 million from Exfinity Ventures to create a live learning experience. With rising awareness about virtual reality, the adoption of concept learning among students is increasing.

Companies plan to invest in semi-immersive technology to create better user experiences. Owing to the rising investments and research and development activities, the software segment is expected to be on the rise.

Google and Apple Focusing on R&D to Innovate the Virtual Reality Market in North America

North America covers 40% of the share in the global virtual reality market and is leading the market. U.S. giants such as Facebook, Google, and Apple continue to focus on research and development (R&D) activities for software and hardware to further stimulate the virtual reality market share. The growth in this region is mainly attributable to the increased funding in start-ups, making the market dynamic.

The market in Europe is projected to hold a quarter share in the forecast years. France and Germany are the major contributors to the market. Apart from North America and Europe, the market is expected to rise in other regions such as Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. 

The report profiles some of the leading players in the global virtual reality market, 70% of which operate or are based in North America. These include:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Oculus VR (Facebook)
  • Autodesk Inc.
  • Samsung Electronics
  • HTC
  • Eon Reality
  • Vuzix
  • Sony
  • Leap Motion
  • Vuzix
  • Sixense Enterprises
  • Dassault Systemes SE
  • Lenovo Group Ltd.
  • Magic Leap, Inc.

Of these, companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Autodesk, Leap Motion, 3D, Sixense Enterprise, Dassault Systemes, and Eon Reality are responsible for the surge in the virtual reality market revenue. Recently Dassault Systemes offered help to the students of the University of Switzerland by making them aware of the latest technologies and industrial processes. Using virtual reality, the company helped more than 700 engineering students and made them aware of ENOVIA for collaboration, CATIA for multi-disciplinary systems design and documentation, 3DEXCITE for high-end 3D visualization, and DELMIA for manufacturing simulation and robotics. Companies are increasingly investing in virtual reality technology to stay ahead of the competition.

Some of the recent industry developments:

  • June 2018: A virtual reality headset called Oculus Go was launched in Canada and the UK. It is now available at reasonably affordable prices.
  • May 2019: Ultrahaptics announced the acquisition of a hand-tracking headset maker called Leap Motion to strengthen its market position
  • August 2019: Sony Interactive Entertainment patented a virtual reality device combating eye-tracking and other simulation sicknesses.

Source: Fortune Business Insights

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