Virtual Reality (VR) first emerged as an aspect of entertainment that is focused on taking people away from the familiar environment. Incidentally, VR has grown to find applications in diverse industries. This informs the current surge in interest in VR and its potential by companies all across the globe.

The current state of VR industry and the countries leading in its pursuit

Although various research reports indicate different metrics, the consensus is that the VR industry is huge. In 2018, Statista estimated that the VR industry was worth $8.9 billion. Fortune Business Insights, on the other hand, estimated the value of the industry to be $7.3 billion during that year. In addition, the research forecasted a CAGRof 42.2% between 2018 and 2026 for the industry, where it would clock $120.5 billion by the end of the forecast period.

A team of researchers at ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, are investigating new concepts for controlling rovers on a planet and satellites in orbit. Image by European Space Agency.

So far, in 2019, Statista estimates that the industry is worth $16.8 billion. Compared to 2018, the industry has already expanded approximately 89% even before the year ends. Incidentally, the growth of the industry emanates from demand in the three largest VR markets in the world, the US, China, and Japan. These are the leading countries as far as VR is concerned. The countries are aggressively pursuing the technology behind virtual reality and the VR revenue generated provides the evidence to this.

Statista data shows that the three countries are experiencing increased revenue from VR. According to Statista’s estimates, the VR industry in the US generated a paltry $0.5 million in revenue in 2016. This, however, grew incrementally through the years to $3.25 million in 2018. The industry is forecast to reach $3.75 million in revenue by yearend 2019.

China and Japan have also recorded incremental revenues over the years from 2016 to 2019. While China’s VR industry earned $0.05 million in 2016, Japan’s VR industry earned $0.1 million, according to Statista. Both markets are forecast to see sizable growth in revenue before yearend 2019 up to 2021.

Virtual reality (VR) revenue in the United States, China and Japan from 2016 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars). Image by Statista.
Virtual reality (VR) revenue in the United States, China and Japan from 2016 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars). Image by Statista.

What sectors are applying VR the most?

VR has transitioned from being an entertainment solution to finding applications in diverse industries worldwide. Particularly, the growth of the industry is signified by the means through which we interact with the technology. There are consoles specially made to offer a VR experience to users. In addition, users can interact with VR through mobile phones and PCs.

According to SuperData Research, an affiliate of the Nielsen Company, VR consoles are the most sold VR platform so far. However, PC as a VR platform should provide stiff competition to the consoles going forward. Interestingly, the research data established that mobile VR will outpace consoles and PC as the primary driver for revenue in the VR industry worldwide through 2021.

In the global VR market, the consumer sector is leading in terms of VR application. Particularly, the gaming industry is the largest source of demand for VR software and hardware. IDC data shows that Virtual Reality Games took 28.0% of the VR market share in 2018 followed by Training, and VR Video Viewing at 7.6% and 7.5% respectively.

Top use case based on 2018 Market share. Image by IDC.
Top use case based on 2018 Market share. Image by IDC.

Facebook-owned Oculus VR is one of the leading companies in the VR industry. The company develops the Oculus family of VR headsets targeting gamers and other consumer sectors. Recently, the company introduced Oculus Quest, which enables users to turn their heads in virtual space. The device is 27% faster than its predecessors are and consumes 40% less power. Other companies blazing the trail in the industry include Chicago-based NEXT/NOW, which develops VR solutions for projection mapping and facial tracking. Igloo Vision is another major player in the VR industry. The company leverages VR technology to develop training solutions for businesses.

VR glasses by Facebook-owned Oculus VR is one of the leading companies in the VR industry.
VR glasses by Facebook-owned Oculus VR is one of the leading companies in the VR industry.
Via News TV