The Virtual Reality (VR) industry is developing at lightning speed right now, integrating into just about every business sector and operation around the world. The VR world is growing so quickly that revenue from VR hardware and software is projected to increase from 3.7 billion USD to 40 billion USD by 2020. Paired with Augmented Reality (AR) in many cases, VR is becoming increasingly popular with mobile users as well, accounting for 75% of global VR display sales by 2020.
With an estimated 171 million users by 2018 and counting, the potential for the VR market is through the roof. Naturally, developers, designers, and innovators are rushing to capitalize from this monstrous new development, solidifying it as being on the cusp of widespread adoption in every business facet.
So, what can you expect for VR trends in 2018? Here are some of the most anticipated developments to rock the VR movement in the months to come:
1. Total Immersion
VR is all about stimulating your senses without actually providing the real thing. Through sound, sight, and even movement, we are tricked into thinking that we are really experiencing an environment, a service, or a product, providing us with an incentive to really invest in something we would have otherwise pushed to the side in the past.
Right now, experts are working on incorporating more senses to achieve a truly immersive experience. Most VR experiences are sight and sound, only. These experts predict that developments for incorporating touch and even smell will pop up in this new sphere. As the obvious next stage of VR, you can expect more VR developers to focus their attentions on making VR as totally immersive as possible.
2. New Tools
New tools mean more exploratory options for VR headsets moving into the future. Since VR provides a marketing experience that is simply unrivaled at this time, developers are working on a new host of tools that will enable people to create and publish VR content without much effort or expertise. We’re looking at more examples of VR that encourages users to create their own character-driven animated movies, etc.
These tools will enable supercharged workflows to do a lot more than just storytelling mediums like Instagram and YouTube can. Working to expedite the VR process, the goal is to make VR more usable for people without expertise in the field.
3. Real-Time Shopping
The future of eCommerce is with VR. VR is letting shoppers immerse themselves in a shopping world, without the lines and hassle of traveling to and from store locations. It’s the retail shopping way of the future. Customers will soon be able to try on clothing before buying them right from the convenience of their home. Given the rise of online shopping and how popular it is with consumers right now, tying in this kind of immersive experience is going to make online shopping feel like real shopping, but right from home.
4. Increased Performance
Eye-tracking technology is making its way to VR in 2018. This technology will help with improved performance on mobile hardware, making VR even more compatible with mobile viewing and usage. Since VR is already majorly popular through a mobile lens, this kind of development is very important for brands and businesses wishing to reach consumers more directly.
Beyond that, you can expect to see user interfaces (UI) to get additional tools, supported by content creators who will have access to more contextual information. As a result, brands need to be ready to embrace this kind of sensory marketing that is looming on the horizon.
5. Leveraging New VR
The world of VR isn’t going to slow down for anyone. As it has already proven its value in the world of marketing and advertising, it’s important to consider these new developments and what they can mean for you and your operation. Integrated tools that are becoming easier to use will make VR compatible with any kind of business that is open to it. Plus, real-time shopping is going to make any eCommerce platform highly sought after by consumers all over the world. The brands that jump to these opportunities first are the ones that are going to win the VR race.
From an immersion standpoint, consumers want more than just pretty pictures today. If they can get a total sensory experience from a brand, they’re going to choose that brand. Why guess on a product or service when you can really feel it, right through the VR headsets? Sensory marketing is on the rise today, and VR is one of the most powerful avenues to deliver it to your audience.
VR is the future, something that has been depicted in movies for decades. Now that it’s finally here, it’s developing at lightning speed, leaving slower brands in the dust. Instead of resisting the VR movement, accept it as part of your business marketing or advertising platform, demonstrating to customers and investors what you can really offer them.
Leveraging VR for Your Brand
Those are our top trends to watch in 2018. If you're interested in leveraging VR to promote your brand, custom branded Google Cardboard viewers may just be the easiest and most cost-efficient way to get started.