' There is an app for everything, or at least there will be.'
These words were spoken to me by an app development firm back in 2009 when I reacted rather skeptically saying 'but people will need expensive devices for that, how will it influence the masses?'
I look back on that statement now with the growth of smartphones and apps, and think, wow I was naive.
So, when VR emergence struck the digital industry, I was far from skeptical this time. Instead, I was telling business folks trapped in traditional advertising and not wanting to digress into fresh formats that 'there will be a VR app for everything, soon. If you do not want one, consider that your competitors may have one already or be planning for it.'
The Medium of VR in Advertising is the Next Stage In Digital Growth for Business
Far-reaching right now it may seem at the fringe of the technology and with the expenses around most VR equipment still diverting interest in VR app development. Though, in the next few years, there will be as many VR apps as there are Android and iOS apps - that I believe to be a firm prediction.
Let's look at that.
Since 2011, the number of smartphone users and console gamers has increased tenfold and more. The Android and iOS platforms have experienced a surge in VR apps from independent developers for use on Google's Cardboard and the low priced Gear VR. Sony PlayStation is now investing heavily in VR and looks set to win the battle in the gaming world with so many enticing titles and a robust marketing campaign supported by their own VR apps. The gaming industry has exploded with VR interest and is still really at the inception of showing what VR headsets can achieve.
At Paris Games Week this year, you can hear Sony talk about the growth in VR entertainment for their headset.
That and the HTC Vive are at the more pricey end of the market but then we have the Gear VR, an affordable solution for all. Here we can see how a Gear VR app teaches us to be more confident when speaking in public. Just one example of how businesses can train their staff or an educator can offer training to the masses. If you are stumped for words at meetings or find it difficult to speak to an audience, this app may be able to help by combining education with VR.
The Stats Do Not Lie: VR's Growth is Staggering
In the past year alone, there has been an explosion of VR apps from brands in education, gaming, film production and healthcare. Oculus VR, for example, boasts a wide range of education in VR classrooms for all ages teaching history, science, mathematics, and just about every other subject in ways that make the learning experience fascinating. This VR growth extends to the best documentaries including a VR slice of Planet Earth 2 from David Attenborough on Gear VR .
The big movie production houses have jumped on the VR bandwagon and come up with VR promos for many movies: the Blade Runner VR app places you in a police flying vehicle that glides through a cityscape providing a feel for the movie. Take a look at the replicant pursuit trailer and download it on your VR headset.
The growth in VR interest is evident from the latest number of users grabbing a headset and downloading apps from the staggering VR app libraries now available.Look at these stats from Statistica:
The statistic depicts a forecast regarding the number of active virtual reality users from 2014 to 2018. The total number of active virtual reality users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. The VR market is set to grow at an extraordinary rate in the coming years, with revenues from virtual reality software alone forecast to increase by over three thousand percent in four years.
VR is both fun and engaging so making it a perfect tool for promoting any product. A new launch of a service or a product can be visualized in a VR environment. Businesses are embracing more and more the use of VR to promote a product launch. You can gain a further insight into VR in advertising on the Virtual Reality Experiences blog.