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Virtual Reality Industry Analysis Essay


Introduction

Within the past three years the virtual reality industry has been gaining considerable attention through products such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. While there have been various iterations of virtual reality product development in the past, they were considered “clunky” and were lacking in the necessary streamline and user friendly mechanisms that have been incorporated into present day virtual reality technology (Parkin, 2014).

While development kits have been released to the general public and to game and application developers, mainstream user kits have yet to be released. It is with this in mind that this report will analyze the various factors that will most likely influence this industry in the years to come.

Political

With this industry still being in its infancy, it is unlikely that it would have any significant political impact especially when taking into consideration that it acts more as a technological accessory.

Economic

The potential economic impact of the technology is still uncertain since it is still a developing industry that has yet to have any significant impact. While it is true that the production and sale of virtual reality headsets could be in the millions in the future as the technology develops and becomes more acceptable, it cannot be stated at the present whether this can come about since previous iterations of wearable technology such as Google Glass promised the same thing but were unable to deliver on the hype that was generated.

Social

The potential social ramifications of this technology are still uncertain since it has yet to enter into either a niche market or mainstream acceptability. However, there are several possible social implications of the technology that will be discussed in this section. One possible implication is that it will allow better levels of interaction and collaboration between people across great distances.

Through the medium of virtual reality, it would seem as if the person was actually there resulting in people being able to feel a lot more amenable towards interacting with that person.

Aside from this, people that are home bound such as the elderly would be able to explore various virtual environments resulting in them having more fulfilling lives (Psotka, 2013). The potential of the social change this technology can bring about is staggering; however, it is still uncertain whether its current iteration will be able to live up to the hype that it has generated.

Technological

As an industry that is now just getting out of its infancy and is about to enter into mainstream acceptability, it can be stated that this is an exciting time for virtual reality companies. Since they are the first movers into the market which would enable them to sufficient entrench themselves into the local market and develop a loyal consumer base before other companies attempt to emulate their possible success (Herold, 2014).

It should be noted though that the creation of technology based head pieces is not exactly new with one previous iteration coming in the form of Google Glass. This item was meant to streamline the use of Android based applications by enabling consumers to utilize the frames in their glasses. However, after the release of the initial development kits there was little in the way of significant public interest surrounding the device which lead to Google shuttering its release for the time being.

A similar fate could await the virtual reality headsets that will be released by Facebook (the Oculus Rift) or by Sony (Project Morpheus). At the present, the virtual reality headsets that have been created have focused on being peripherals to the gaming industry and have not entered into possible mainstream usability. This casts considerable doubt as to whether or not the burgeoning virtual reality industry will be able to develop sufficient demand for its products (Herold, 2014).

Though, it should be noted that Microsoft has created a proof of concept device in the form of the Hololens which is meant to incorporate virtual reality into mainstream usability via integration into the Microsoft Operating System.

With Microsoft entering into the market with its own products and with multiple other companies such as Samsung expressing interest in developing their own iteration of virtual reality hardware, it can be stated that while the future of this industry is uncertain, there is a considerable amount of promising development that make it seem that it may just become one of the cornerstones of mainstream gadgetry in the future.

Environmental

It is unlikely that the device would have any significant environmental repercussions since it deals primarily with the virtual world which does not have any impact whatsoever on the physical world. One potential application of the technology though would be if it were used to help in urban and environmental planning which would help city planners better map out a city to reduce its overall environmental impact.

There are no legal issues regarding the creation of this technology and, as such, its creation and sale will go unimpeded.

Reference List

Herold, B. (2014). Oculus Rift Fueling New Vision for Virtual Reality in K-12. Education Week, 34(2), 10.

Parkin, S. (2014). Oculus Rift. (cover story). Technology Review, 117(3), 50.

Psotka, J. (2013). Educational Games and Virtual Reality as Disruptive Technologies. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 69-80.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 6). Virtual Reality Industry Analysis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/virtual-reality-industry-analysis/

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"Virtual Reality Industry Analysis." IvyPanda, 6 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/virtual-reality-industry-analysis/.

1. IvyPanda. "Virtual Reality Industry Analysis." May 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/virtual-reality-industry-analysis/.


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IvyPanda. "Virtual Reality Industry Analysis." May 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/virtual-reality-industry-analysis/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Virtual Reality Industry Analysis." May 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/virtual-reality-industry-analysis/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Virtual Reality Industry Analysis'. 6 May.

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