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What’s Next For VR

There are many current and upcoming trends swirling around virtual reality (VR) that will certainly give the buzzed-about technology staying power over the next decade.

 We can see this through its current position in the market coupled with the rise of 360 video and an increase in content innovations. VR will continue to be a tech sensation in the gaming world, and we predict it will steadily grow in popularity with everyday consumers, particularly with the incorporation of 360 video content.

The Current State Of VR

It was the ultimate sign from above that VR would be integral in the future of tech when Mark Zuckerberg bought Oculus for $2 billion back in 2014. Currently, VR is blossoming in the gaming world while it’s also been gaining steam on the consumer end with affordable headset options and developing content. We can tell it still has the opportunity for extensive upward growth by watching the numbers. The retention rate on a VR headset is pretty high on the systems that have been purchased, with 80 percent of them being retained by customers and only 20 percent being returned to the retailer. Meaning, people are waiting to see what will happen next with the technology — even if they aren’t big-time gamers. 

360 Video And VR

So, what kind of developments should we get excited about for consumer-facing mobile VR? Simple: 360 video. 360 video has been having quite the moment in the sun on social platforms like Facebook, and it’s certainly going to have a future within VR. Incorporating the two will allow individuals to create their own content on platforms they already use, like Vimeo, and be able to share it with others in a new format. There’s a great indication of this because of the draw it had at the last CES. This element within VR in particular is going to have some serious buzz in the coming year because of what’s being planned right now.

VR Through The Looking Glass

The future for VR is bright, and here’s how we know: With 2016 holiday sales numbers looking better than expected from many VR vendors, other opportunities are drawing interest from prospective customers. Look for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to add more VR content along with 360 video in the near future. This will be the lynchpin to garnering more attention to and participation with VR.

 Also, vendors combining forces with advanced optics for headsets, video production and streaming content services will allow them to offer consumers more reliable and affordable equipment, meaning better products.

 While that all may take some time, virtual reality will continue to be all the rage it was always meant to be. By keeping one eye on the future of this product you’ll be able to see all kinds of innovations like 360 video, gaming, and streaming content, along with other technological advancements. It’s an exciting time to watch an entire industry grow!

Dave Hodgson is North America sales and distribution director for Zeiss Multimedia Devices, a group within the consumer products division of Zeiss, makers of camera lens, binoculars and scopes. Multimedia products include the Zeiss VR One headset, and the company is developing wearable devices with specialized lenses.