Sci-fi tech, meet Wall Street.
A recent report from investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that within 10 years, virtual reality hardware will be an $80 billion industry. This “base case” forecast assumed that adoption will be slow, as compared to that of smartphones and tablets, but, the report noted, “as the technology advances, price points decline, and an entire new marketplace of applications (both business and consumer) hits the market, we believe VR/AR has the potential to spawn a multi-billion dollar industry, and possibly be as game changing as the advent of the PC.”
While the conversation around VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) often focuses on gaming and video entertainment, the Goldman report theorizes that these use cases will account for less than half of the software market.
As a sometimes-gamer, it’s fun to think about strapping on a headset and diving headfirst into my favorite virtual worlds. But to limit our imagination to these applications is ignoring the unlimited potential of a hybrid reality created by augmented and virtual technology to affect every business and industry.
By combining analog, two-dimensional ways of working with new mixed–reality experiences, we can transform our ability to communicate, collaborate and create. The challenge for businesses will not be to provide a more immersive experience, but a more valuable experience.