Il’ya Dudkin 31/08/2018 #Popular #VR 8 min readVirtual reality has made quite a splash over the course of the last few years and even greater advancements in virtual reality development lies ahead. In 2014, there were only 200,000 active virtual reality users. In 2017, this number increase to 90 million and by the end of this year there will be 171 million active VR users. Even though VR has grown exponentially, the virtual reality software development industry has also grown from a mere $129 million dollar industry in 2015 to a $2.57 billion dollar in 2018 and, by 2025, it will be a $45 billion dollar industry.VR is certainly a very exciting sphere, but what are the latest trends to look out for? Here are some things you can expect to see in the near future.More 360-degree videosAccording to the latest research, 360-degree videos received a higher engagement in 2017 than traditional video and content. The research was based on the analysis of video completions, clicks and overall engagement from more than 1000 campaigns. The research also revealed that brands using 360-degree videos occupy a wide variety of niches and content quality improved every year.The latest big names that have used 360-degree videos are NASA, IBM, Microsoft, Ford, and Honda. Also, YouTube’s channel that is dedicated to 360-degree videos has almost 3 million subscribers. Expect to see an even greater adoption of 360-degree videos on a much larger scale.More VR Adoption in AdvertisingAs we saw from the VR adoption statistics mentioned above, VR has now gone mainstream and one of the driving forces behind this is the use of VR by the advertising industry. We have seen signs of this last year when Google announced its experiment with virtual reality development for advertisements that react to the user’s eyes and Infinity recently launched a virtual reality test drive of its Q60 car model using 360-degree video. Also, Chick-Fil-A launched a VR website around its “Eat Mor Chikin” Cow icon. Even though these are only a few examples of VR in marketing, expect to see even more VR advertising which, in turn, will drive the overall growth of the VR industry.More VR DevelopersThe VR industry cannot grow without the necessary supply of talented virtual reality development talent. This perhaps could be the only thing that prevents the VR industry from growing: a talent deficit. Expect the demand for VR developers to grow and, in fact, industry giants are already making moves to encourage VR content producers. In a 2017 experiment with VR ads, Google stated that its goal is to help producers make money to fund their VR content. Overall, given the industry growth mentioned earlier, it is only natural that demand for top-notch talent to become even fiercer in the future.A More Immersive ExperienceWhat is most important is that VR will become even more real, meaning that we future virtual reality development will lead to more immersive experiences. For example, recently an interesting new product appeared on the market called 8ball, which is an omni-binaural microphone that captures 360 degrees of audio with help of 8 omnidirectional microphones. This provides a more immersive sound experience which lets the user hear sounds from every direction.This is a big deal for VR 360 video producers, but this is only the beginning. Expect to see VR gadgets that will engage your nose’s senses and your skin’s sense of touch. The combination of engaging all 5 of your senses with the help of VR will lead to a more immersive user experience this year and beyond.Cheaper and More Widely Available VR ProductsLast year, Oculus and HTC engaged in a price war with both brands simultaneously lowering the price of one of their products by $200. Expect to see more of this in the future. For VR to become fully mainstream, both the software and hardware need to be affordable to the average consumer. Currently, most VR gadgets are quite expensive and some of them even cost thousands of dollars, which of course the average person cannot afford. However, it is not just the headsets that are driving the cost of VR. Both Oculus and HTC have high-grade computer requirements function properly. Their prices also include accessories such as base stations and controllers which add up to a higher cost.Having said this, there are high-end models and there are cheaper options. For example, Oculus Rift could cost thousands of dollars but they offer a cheaper option as well called Oculus Go Wireless which costs $199. Also, let’s not forget that Google Cardboard, which allows you to experiences VR, costs as little as $15 and you can find it for even less on Amazon. In 2018 and beyond you can expect VR devices to become cheaper and therefore more available to average consumers.Overall virtual reality is quickly picking up steam in almost all sectors and niches on the market. Companies who are first to harness the new technologies that come out every year can stay ahead of the competition by providing a more personalized experience and reaching customers in new markets. All of the trends listed above are driving the growth of the VR industry and we are the point where VR will finally become mainstream and accessible to the masses. Now is the time to start exploring all of the ways VR will be used in the future by consumers and how it could scale your business. And if you can’t wait to immerse into the virtual world, you can order development services from Skywell Software.