Developers of virtual-reality products are currently focused on the gaming industry, but that could change rapidly. Companies are already beginning work on applications of VR technology in the medical field, with retail and education not far behind.
“What we learn from textbooks or labs can be really dull, but VR and AR [augmented reality] will greatly enhance learning abilities,” Chinese investor Zhu Bo said in a report for phys.org. “It can also be used in e-commerce. In the future, you will step into a real scene; you can see the products on the shelves, touch and feel them. So our shopping experience will totally change.”
International Data Corp. predicted shipments of VR devices will increase by more than 2,400% this year, but the market still needs development before retailers jump on the bandwagon. Current VR products only allow individual users to play a game or watch a movie, but companies are expected to continue creating more VR-related hardware and software.
“To experience VR, you need a powerful engine,” said L.Z. Wang, managing director of chipmaker AMD. “Without content, you can’t experience anything.”