Sonia Sharma, Managing Director, GoodWorkLabs
Virtual Reality is still in its infancy in India. Technology giants from around the world have taken decisive steps towards the expansion of research and development in the field of Virtualization and Augmented Reality, but the state of the Indian market has remained more or less dormant. What seems astounding is that even after all this time there’s still a perception amongst people that Virtual Reality is all about 360-degree videos.
Digi-Capital predicts that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will be an industry worth $150 Billion by 2020. With the right foresight and education, the Virtual Reality market in India has the potential to be world leaders.
Bringing Virtual Reality to your doorstep
The main challenge for the Indian market is to move away from mainstream consumer sectors like E-Commerce and invest more time in alternative technologies. Virtual Reality has made its mark in the world with players like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung heavily investing in VR tech and development. Virtual Reality gear like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and even the Google Cardboard are now easily available and are paving the way for VR to be made available to mainstream audiences.
Virtual Reality is about the complete immersion of audiences in a simulated world that will let you delve into new environments and process information in a 3-Dimensional space. Barring a handful of companies in India, there are barely any players considering the vast opportunities that Virtual Reality has in store. VR is not all about gaming or viewing videos in 360 degrees, but it goes far beyond into the world of manufacturing, healthcare, education, engineering, architecture, entertainment, and even therapy, and retail.
The reality of VR
The world is looking to move into a more immersive space in terms of technology; people want information faster, and want to learn about the world without restrictions. Virtual Reality ticks all those boxes, it lets you immerse yourself into a simulated environment where one can access information, interact with objects, and even experience scenarios which otherwise would not have been possible.
VR can let you design a new product in the morning, take a tour of our galaxy at noon, and get you to attend your favorite band’s concert in the evening. The options and possibilities with Virtual Reality are endless. All that remains is to open our minds and accept that VR is here to stay and is definitely going to be making a huge impact on our markets.
But for VR to make an impact in India we first need to look at more basic issues – connectivity and stable networks are a must for the growth of any high functioning technology sector and this is where India sees possible lost opportunity. If these primary matters are addressed on time, Indian markets can expect to see great demand in the development of VR solutions across industries.
E-Commerce and Virtual Reality
The E-Commerce bug has bit India hard and people seem to rarely look away from the sector towards more progressive uses of technology. But then again there is progress, with companies like CommonFloor who use VR gear to showcase their properties in 3D, and Indian tech companies that are creating immersive learning material for children with the use of 3D simulation.
Virtual Reality is yet to enter the Visual Merchandising market in India, and that is where lies huge potential for e-commerce businesses. Augmented reality and Virtual Reality can help brands build experiential marketing solutions and even let users create customized solutions for themselves.
Rooting for tomorrow’s tech
Investing in VR is not only a novel idea but businesses see tremendous future in the VR industry and expect equally beneficial returns. From Education, to training young medics and engineers, to providing immersive entertainment options. Virtual Reality has begun to alter the course of mainstream technology.
The Indian market would greatly benefit from original research and development in the field of Augmented and Virtual Reality. VR Games and VR in the education sector has already had a small head-start over other industries. The hope now is that bigger players see the potential in the Virtual Reality sector and invest at least a part of their efforts towards the development of VR tech and solutions.