Virtual reality is hardly virtual anymore. At this year’s Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, more than forty exhibitors are showcasing virtual reality devices – that’s a massive 77 percent rise compared to 2015. Virtual reality headsets will be all the craze this year according to experts with projected sales expected to skyrocket by 500 percent.
“To see 2016 and CES be the home of multiple manufacturers announcing and releasing timings for their VR to come onto the market, the competition makes a really exciting space,” says Ernest Doku, technology expert for uSwitch, a UK-based price comparison service. “Virtual reality actually transports you to another world. You put the headset on and you actually can’t see the world around you. It can project you on a beach, on top of a mountain in Japan, in the far flung future, virtual reality is a whole other experience.”
Despite games makers taking the lead in VR technology, a range of industries are now grasping its potential. Visualise, a London-based virtual reality company, produces 360-degree content. They have worked with sports stars, carmakers, rock bands and even travel agencies, demonstrating the far-reaching applications of VR.
“We capture that by using 360-degree cameras that are essentially balls of cameras, different kinds of cameras for different jobs, and these all capture video at once,” explains Visualise co-founder Henry Stuart. “We then synchronise the cameras, stitch and blend all the content and produce a sphere which you can then put into virtual reality in a virtual reality headset and immerse yourself in it and look around.”
Video games will be the key driver of virtual reality hardware this year, according to a new report which predicts consumers will spend more than 5 billion dollars on virtual reality gaming hardware, accessories and software.