The concept of “virtual reality” or VR has existed for over 30 years, but it may now finally be coming of age. New VR technology, such as Google Daydream, as well as existing tech such as Google Cardboard and Google Glass in the related field of augmented reality (AR), are on the verge of becoming part of everyday life.
Nintendo’s recent runaway success with their AR game Pokemon Go has added $7.5billion to their market value. This shows just how much of a market there could potentially be for games that effectively make use of VR and AR technology. But is there more to the tech than just new forms of gaming? And what impact will it have on the UK tech industry?
The growth in VR gaming
According to some predictions, gaming is likely to make up around 84% of the VR market by 2020. Much of this is likely to centre around mobile gaming, which is expected to make up 45% of all gaming before the end of the decade. Mobile gaming has a big advantage when it comes to VR take up, as it relies on technology people already own, rather than requiring them to go out and purchase dedicated VR technology.
The UK is the world’s 6th largest video games market with the industry being worth around £4.2 billion in 2015. This means VR gaming is likely to have a massive impact on the future of the UK gaming industry and the market place. Companies who can effectively develop and market VR titles will have a huge advantage in the near future and the success of Pokemon Go is likely to see an increasing number of games companies rushing to leap on the bandwagon.
VR in the workplace
So, if gaming will make up 84% of the VR market, what will the other 16% be? Well, at least some of the leading VR technology is likely to be seen in the workplace. Modern workplaces are being less and less tied to traditional offices, with homeworking and outsourcing meaning many key workers are no longer based in a central office. Virtual reality offers great opportunities for remote working, in particular virtual conferencing, where people can have the experiencing of being in the same room as each other, even if they are hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.
VR will also be extremely useful for testing and training, allowing employees to learn in a safe, controlled virtual environment. By providing an immersive learning experience, it should be possible to make in-work training much more effective than with traditional methods such as learning out of books and role playing.
Augmented reality tech will also allow people to perform their jobs more efficiently by providing valuable information overlaid in real time onto the world. This will make it much faster and simpler for employees to get the information they need, allowing them to make faster and better decisions and increase productivity.
Getting your business ready for the virtual revolution
By next year, there are predicted to be 750,000 computer science jobs in the UK, with only around 50,000 people graduating from computer science degrees each year. This means there is a looming skills gap and companies that want to stay competitive will need to work harder to attract the right employees.
Business that want to be prepared for the VR revolution will need to make sure they have a clear understanding of the skills they need and how to find the right individuals to provide those skills. Companies that are most effective at finding and attracting high quality VR-savvy team members will be well positioned for success in the VR dominated industry of the near future.
Do you have the right employees for the UK VR boom?
If your company wants to ride the next wave of VR technology to success, you need to make sure you have the right team members in place to help you do it. Next Ventures is one of the UK’s most successful technology recruitment companies, working with some of the biggest names in UK tech. We can help you find the perfect candidates specialising in VR and the tech industry, so your business can be at the cutting edge of this huge opportunity for growth.
One of the secrets of our success is our industry-leading graduate academy, “The Next Step”. This allows us to train all of our graduates to the highest possible level, meaning each new team member can offer you the same first-rate service.