According to IDC the virtual reality (VR) industry is predicted to be worth $162 billion by 2020. While still a young industry, it is growing rapidly and many companies are looking for a piece of the action.
It is clear from a glance at the current market for virtual reality hardware – from the high-end options on offer from the likes of Oculus Rift and HTV Vive, down to the more affordable end of the market represented by Google Cardboard, that panoramic and VR photography and videography is set to boom over the coming year.
In addition to its new VR Daydream View, Google also released its own Cardboard Camera app last month for Apple iOS devices, which was an equally applaudable way of helping to popularise 360-degree virtual reality photos.
VR is Everywhere
The latest Google announcements only serve to reinforce the popular belief that there’s a very clear, fast-growing trend for consumers to embrace virtual reality. It is already being utilized in healthcare, real estate, education, events and many other industries.
While a great tool for businesses there is also high demand from everyday users to record and capture and share what they experience in really exciting and cool new ways using mobile and social media.
There are already a number of 360-degree cameras out there on the market from the bigger tech brands such as LG and Samsung and established photography brands such as Nikon, but also from emerging 360-degree or virtual reality companies.
All Android and iPhone users should have the ability to shoot stunning 360-degree videos that they can see using a VR viewer and share with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.
User-Generated VR Content
Essentially, user-generated virtual reality content, while still in its infancy, is going to be the engine that drives the development of VR hardware and professionally produced VR content such as movies, games and so on. Facebook and YouTube both already support the 360-degree format, and the demand for quality VR content creation is only going to grow in the coming years.
So for general users, an accessible VR camera helps them to quickly learn how to make (and share) great content easily and quickly. As smartphones now play a major (and increasingly important) role in people’s daily lives, they have powerful functionality, rich image processing capability and are easy for most consumers to use, they should be utilised for VR. Anything that integrates the most important device we own is bound to be a winner.
With the VR industry growing at an incredible rate, it’s hugely exciting to see what products will launch next and what users will do with them.
About Jingkang Liu
Jingkang Liu is the CEO, and founder of Shenzhen Arashi Vision Company Limited. Makers of the Insta360 4K, Insta360 Nano, and Insta360 Stereo cameras.