Virtual reality has come a long way in a short time, and it’s still advancing at a rapid rate. Given that we just started this year, let's take a moment and reflect on how the VR market evolved in the last couple of years. YUP, that’s right, this blog post is about money $ and growth!
I will be mainly talking about the growth of the VR market in Europe and Germany specifically but it would be negligent of me not to talk about this growth on an international level given that VR is flourishing in North America and Asia. So let's dive right into it.
2019 already turned out to be a strong year for VR, providing a solid base for growth. Oculus Quest, Facebook’s standalone headset, is creating a lot of interest and momentum. The headset was launched in May and it was sold out across multiple stores only a week later. Facebook’s VP of AR/VR, Andrew Bosworth, says that in the first two weeks of Oculus Quest headset sales, there was $5 million worth of content sales!
Four major platforms–Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook–hall made big moves to establish technological leadership for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). The shift from tethered to standalone VR headsets represents a paradigm shift within the immersive ecosystem. Now, we have a truly mobile platform that is good enough to facilitate compelling user experiences and thus help the market growth!
A new report from FutureSource Consulting confirms that the future of VR is bright. Worldwide, VR market volume is expected to reach 98.4 million sales by 2023, generating an installed base of 168 million units with a worldwide population penetration of 2%. Growth is forecast across all regions and countries, with China leading the way.
Stable growth of the VR & AR markets is expected both in Europe and around the world. The total production value of the European VR & AR industry is expected to increase to between €15 billion and €34 billion by 2020, and account directly or indirectly for 225,000 to 480,000 jobs.
The European VR frontrunner countries include France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland. A lot of potential for future growth can be found in Finland, Denmark, Italy, Greece as well as Eastern and Central Europe including Poland, Estonia and the Czech Republic.
This is due to the fact that VR is transforming and innovating a lot of traditional sectors such as healthcare, communication and manufacturing industries. It is revolutionizing Education and so much more. Europe is definitely going to play an important part in this “VR revolution". As a matter of fact, it is already in action; European VR & AR companies are growing – over 50% of existing companies indicate that they have expanded their VR teams and for 35% of enterprises, this growth was substantial. Towards the future, one third of existing companies will double their VR activities in 2020 and another third expects to increase their activity even more substantially.
European companies and researchers can benefit from accelerators and start-up hubs, as well as national and EU public funding. Germany, for example, is such a startup friendly country, an increasing number of new start-ups is observed. About a quarter of current VR & AR businesses started in the last two years. Customers are increasingly accepting VR & AR technology, whether for professional or private use or as consumers. Added to that, the fact that Europe is right now investing a lot in the VR/AR research is also helping these technologies flourish, the culture now seems to be more of a collaborative one than competitive.
An increasing number of customers are actively requesting VR solutions, whereas others are curious about VR and demand information and trials. Speaking about trials, don't hesitate to check out STAGE on Oculus Quest and get an early access.
Virtual reality and augmented reality will cause a significant boost to global economic growth over the next decade, according to the report from PwC. The professional services conglomerate believes VR and AR could add as much as $1.5 trillion, or 1.8% GDP, to the global economy by 2030. The Seeing is Believing report claims that the US could see the largest benefits from the immersive technology, with a boost of up to 2.8% GDP possible, and 2.3 million US jobs added.
Given the constant advancements in technology and the increased attention towards virtual reality technology, it will be interesting to see what the future holds. For businesses looking to use immersive technology, one thing’s for sure: the opportunities are endless and we at VR-On will do our best to be part of this journey with STAGE our VR Plattform.