VR Predictions for 2019
InstaVR’s goal is to empower creators to easily develop and distribute VR experiences. The barriers to making virtual reality continue to drop thanks to ubiquitous 360-degree cameras, affordable headsets, and publishing solutions like ours. While VR hardware and software continues to improve, what we’re really excited about is *you*, the content creators.
VR is crossing the chasm from “interesting” to “must-have” at many companies. The main bottleneck now is authoring value-added content, and that’s what we think 2019 will be all about.
Let’s take a look at our three top predictions for the role of Virtual Reality in 2019:
1. VR use will expand within organizations
2017 was the year for “early adopters” in VR. We’d just seen the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive get wide releases, and Gear VR was seeing strong usage thanks in part to Samsung bundling the headset with new phones.
2018 was a transition to more and more groups within companies using the technology. No longer was it likely a sole VR enthusiast at a company “playing” with the technology. We saw HR and L&D and sales/marketing departments at forward-thinking organizations using the technology.
2017 was also a year where many people approached us at trade shows and events to experience their first use of Virtual Reality. Last year most of our visitors were telling us about how they were first introduced to VR at their company and how they were using it. Putting on a VR headset was no longer a novelty.
This year we’re expecting those successful VR users within organizations to spur greater adoption throughout companies, at every level. Rather than have a small group being the guinea pigs to test the effectiveness of VR, we’ll see whole departments at companies (or the entire companies themselves) adopt the technology to make them more effective.
Witness Walmart, which bought 17,000 Oculus Gos to train associates using VR.
That evolved from “let’s do a proof of concept VR app for training select new employees for Black Friday” to “let’s make sure all customer facing employees get the best training possible.”
In 2019, we’ll inevitably see VR touch more departments within companies, as the ROI of immersive and memorable VR applications becomes more obvious.
2. Oculus Quest will have a significant impact in 2019, just like Oculus Go had in 2018
Oculus Go has quietly become a pretty big hit within the B2B/Enterprise VR world.
The narrative from journalists around consumer Oculus Go adoption has been fairly muted. The truth is the headset is really perfectly built for businesses — it’s affordable, easy-to-use, and mobile. We’ve heard a ton of great Oculus Go customer success stories from clients, like Galago Vision (which you can read here).
This year, we’ll see Oculus launch the Quest. Like the Go, it is a mobile VR headset. But it’s even more powerfully immersive, thanks to its six degrees of freedom functionality, which tracks your movements that same way you would with a Vive or Rift.
The price point is a bit higher than the Go — but we think companies that are very serious about VR will be willing to make the investment. The extra computing power and features make it one of the most intriguing headsets out there, and a worthy successor to the Rift. It won’t be unusual to see companies with a handful of Quests and a large fleet of Gos.
InstaVR is already actively working to enable our clients to make compelling, powerful Quest applications. Stay tuned for more info in the coming months…
3. Companies will start to integrate more interactivity into their VR content, making it more valuable to users
Yes, InstaVR has enabled interactivity such as Navigation and Hotspots since we publicly launched in 2016.
But still too many users are creating passive VR, mainly as a vehicle for watching 360-degree videos. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, particularly if the videos are well shot.
Yet to truly unlock the power of VR you need to make VR apps interactive. That is why as VR developers using InstaVR become more sophisticated, we expect to see a lot more interactivity. We’re also rolling out some more interactive features over the next several months which we know you’ll be excited to see.
With VR being used for training and education and presentations, the benefits gained from adding interactivity — namely better recall and more active learning — will help demonstrate the true power of the technology.
So don’t be surprised if you find yourself engaging with 360 images and videos more often in 2019!
2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year in VR.
We’re only as strong as our clients though, so we’d like to hear from you where you see VR going in the coming year. Let us know the features, functionality, use cases and distribution plans you have, so we can better enable you to build those.
And if you haven’t already, sign up for a free InstaVR account and you’ll be added to our monthly newsletter list. That’s where we announce all the new things happening at InstaVR.
Thanks for using our solutions and here’s to a great and productive VR year!