In the 21st century, technology is everywhere, its replacing blackboards in the classsrooms, paper models in projects, videogame controllers to VR headsets, it has brought the pokemons from our television screens to the floor in our house. All of this has been made possible using AR and VR which stand for Augmented and Virtual reality respectively.
The technology which supplants your surroundings completely, takes you to a new environment altogether, irrespective of your physical location is called virtual reality. This is now popularly being used in apps and gaming.The variety of locations you might end up using VR is endless.
Virtual reality overlaps your vision, augmented reality is addition of elements to the same vision.The technology enables hassle free movement while projecting images over whatever you look at. This opens new avenues for apps.Dedicated AR headsets like the HoloLens, enable you to virtually keep different apps as floating windows around you, effectively giving you the instant Ironman vibe of instantly modular multi-monitor computing setup.
Apart from the gaming and app scenario, education is another sector throttling on the above technologies. Be it skill-building programmes in colleges, real-world technical training and learning of abstract concepts in schools. The shift from the traditional methods to experimental learning has driven the markets of these new age technologies.
Market Overview and size
About 200 startups have emerged in the AR/VR space. The top 15 AR/VR start-ups have collectively raised under $3 million in funding. Entertainment, manufacturing and healthcare are expected to be prominent shareholders in the AR/VR market by 2020.
TechSci released a report recently, named “India Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market By Product Type, By End-user, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 – 2021”,as per the report the markets for AR and VR in India are estimated to record a CAGR of 55.3% during 2016 - 2021. Growing ratification of AR & VR based products such as head-up display, head-mounted display, etc., are being used in sectors of defense, automotive, consumer electronics, etc. These are believed to direct the growth in the country’s AR & VR market.
The Indian gaming market was over US$ 501 million in 2015 and it is projected to cross US$ 792 million by 2021. Globally, from 2013 to 2017, the AR segment has managed to receive $2.5 billion in funding, and VR $2.7 billion.
The defense industry was the largest benefactor of AR & VR products in 2015 , given to the rise in use of head-mounted display for training purpose, and head-up displays for displaying various pessential parameters like aircraft speed, altitude, horizon line, etc.
Scope of Augmented and Virtual Reality
Despite the humble beginnings, the emerging Indian AR/VR market is expected to rise at a rate of CAGR 76% over the next five years, fuelled by demand from business and consumer sectors.
Defence, education, healthcare, gaming, real estate and e-commerce industry are the major shareholders in the domain, the future looks promising when one imagines the limitless possibilities of making use of AR/VR in the above industries.
The increase in the defence budget of the country is expected to further boost adoption of AR & VR based products over the next five years. Also, use of VR in the e-commerce industry shows tremendous scope as this particular industry has been on a growing graph for years. AR embedded luxury cars are also another source of growth for the AR and VR based products.
The productivity of AR/VR with US, the UK and China, tightens hope for India , considering the healthcare and manufacturing sectors prominently, where intricate hands-on work is needed while surgeries or machine work. These can be made more efficient by wearing AR/VR headsets to provide free flow of real-time information, images and analytics.
-A Delhi-based start-up, Scanta has worked on AR technology-based marketing solutions using Apple’s ARKit, to enable brands to interact creatively with customers through the use of mobile apps.
-ShilpMIS, a start-up in Surat provides VR experiences, apps, 360-degree videos, interactive holograms to be used in real-estate sector. Their clients include Mercedes Benz and The Advantage Raheja Group.
-Another Delhi-based start-up Smartivity sells AR enabled STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths)-based educational content kits in the form of toys etc.
Growth and Future of AR/VR
The AR/VR industry in India is at a thriving stage. With the number of start-ups growing and big players like Google, Facebook stepping into the industry, it can be expected that the future is full of opportunities.
With brands looking for means to give the consumer an experience of their products rather than the bare details, there might be only a few exceptions to companies not seeking assistance in the AR/VR technologies.
The increasing understanding of the significance of interactive user engagement to cut across the clutter, AR & VR experiences could be more of a necessity than a trend.
According to reports, the markets for these technologies are expected to grow at an estimate of 6.5 billion by 2022.
NASSCOM published a report stating that the advent of 4G and high speed data communications have become key drivers for adoption of VR/ AR. With 5G and above technologies in the line to be applied, one can only imagine the humongous growth this sector can achieve.
The opportunities in the augmented and virtual reality industries are ever growing. Education, defence and healthcare can majorly be benefitted from the efficiency and real time environments that these technologies can provide. The future scope of these advancements can bring more prospects beneficial for the consumer. It would be an interesting show to observe how the pioneering competitors like Facebook, Google, Amazon make use of the technologies to prove their extent of creativity and amazing user experience.