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Virtual Reality, despite it’s potential, has been held back. The technology has struggled with glitches and bulky head gear. It’s been expensive (typically $400-800 for high-end devices) and the available content has been small. That’s likely to change over the next few years as technology improves, prices drop (lower end gear like Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR retail for less than $100), and more content becomes available.
The virtual reality market is expected to reach $16.3 billion by 2022, according to data from SuperData Research. The market size was $3.6 billion in 2018.
About 22.4 million Americans are already using virtual reality on a regular basis, according to Yulio Technologies.
Gaming may be what drives adoption of VR. VR investment by far has been coming from studios that are increasingly cranking out VR game titles. VR Game engine software has helped accelerate development.
But VR development isn’t confined to gaming. It is becoming popular for education and e-learning, like for learning a language and for specialized education such as teaching doctors to diagnose cancer. Walmart is using it for training.
After having plateaued, VR technology now seems poised to grow rapidly.
Ray Kurzweil predicted in 2003 that “by the end of this decade, we will have full-immersion visual-auditory environments, populated by realistic looking virtual humans. By the 2030s, virtual reality will be totally realistic and compelling and we will spend most of our time in virtual environments. By the 2040s, even people of biological origin are likely to have the vast majority of their thinking process taking place in nonbiological substrates. We will all become virtual humans.”