The Coronavirus pandemic may have temporarily clipped our wings, but like always, we have found ways around it. The digital world has seen a spike in internet usage since the pandemic hit. It has kickstarted a remote working revolution in Indian metropolitan cities. We have also seen the rise in popularity of video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Meet. These tools have also assisted schools and higher educational institutions to continue educating their students despite a lockdown.
Adopting any new technology is not an easy task. In today’s marketing-centred world, it is difficult to identify genuine products. With VR, covid-19 has broken the ice. It has provided several startups with the edge they needed to gain a foothold in the market. Had it not been for Covid-19, the growth in the global usage of VR might not have been this instantaneous.
Based on a 2020 survey, 71% of the U.S respondents said that they spent more time using Virtual Reality during the pandemic. Only a tiny percentage of the respondents claimed that they spent less time using VR.
*Statista Data on time spent using VR amidst Pandemic
The global forecast for VR growth states that by 2025 the market value will be 20.9 billion USD. And the market value for AR will be 77 billion USD. Advancement of the technology, growing demand, adoption of Virtual headsets, and availability of affordable VR devices are some of the key factors driving the growth of the global VR market.
*India Healthcare future Data from Cognihab
The use of AR and VR in the Indian Healthcare industry has grown tremendously between 2019 and 2020. This data shows us how Covid-19 has positively affected the VR healthcare market. Virtual reality is slated to do wonders for our Healthcare industry. Today, Indian medical institutions such as Cogni Hab are providing people with solutions such as Cognitive Virtual Reality therapy and rehabilitation programs.
Although not known by many, VR healthcare is already here. Experts around the world have designed solutions to help people affected with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Autism. For example, Myauticare, developed by Embright infotech, is an XR-AI based learning platform for children with Autism.
Thermo Fisher’s Virtual Lab is yet another innovation borne out of necessity. Coronavirus pandemic sped up the growth of the AR/VR sector. So, when the need for a virtual testing lab arose, labs like Thermo Fisher rose to the occasion.
The pandemic has also shed light on the plight of the overworked healthcare workers. Organisations like Mind-VR are working with Italian Hospitals to create a VR solution that’ll help relieve stress and other anxiety disorders. With the help of VR/AR, India’s healthcare industry has the potential to build a similar solution for our healthcare workers.
Much like healthcare, Education is another platform to experience a surge in the use of VR and AR tech throughout the world. FortuneBusiness Insight’s study of the global VR usage in the Education industry forecasts an upward trend for 2021-2026. By 2026, the market value will be 13,098.2 Million USD.
The discontinuation of Google Expedition and its features integration with google arts and culture’s virtual tours has created an opportunity. Although Google Arts and culture is a decent tool, educators will not be able to take students on expeditions. It offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a new and better version of Expedition.
Schools in India have already started utilizing virtual tools for educating students. The demand for which has increased substantially amid the Coronavirus pandemic. These tools simplify concepts that are hard to understand with the help of visualization tools, improving education on the whole.
Despite all the progress we have made so far, the Indian Education market is at the nascent stage of embracing Virtual reality technology. It is a critical stage at which startups can contribute unique solutions for both school classrooms as well as higher education.
The International Air Transport Association has predicted that travel may not resume until 2024. Since Covid-19 started spreading like wildlife, the doors of tourism have been closed shut. Hotels, tourist destinations, and crowded places all remained empty, which caused a lot of lost revenue.
It also led to the loss of numerous jobs in the tourism sector. Tourism organizations had to turn to Virtual reality to stay afloat in such troubling times. With the emergence of each new mutated variant, the end doesn’t seem within reach. And that allowed Virtual reality tourism to gain a firm footing.
Some tourism organizations are focusing on long-term marketing, which may include an immersive VR environment. But although these efforts might get a lot of traffic to the website or application, it may not always convert into a visit to the destination.
The pandemic has changed people’s outlook. And even though we cannot go so far as to say that as soon as the pandemic is over, they’ll start packing and make travelling plans. There is a possibility that they might seek alternative travel means made possible by Virtual Reality.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 panic, the VR real-estate sector suffered its share of grief. But it has adapted and is trying to survive. Virtual real-estate showings exited before the pandemic, but only the Foreign clients made use of these services. It is only recently that people have started seeing how beneficial Virtual showing can be.
Existing real estate platforms such as MagicBricks and Nobroker can follow the lead of Nest Seekers, a Manhattan-based real-estate platform, by allowing the users to upload videos of the properties and houses. Adding a video component at this stage will pave the way for Virtual Reality staging of a property in the future.
Based on the Goldman Sachs research, VR in real estate will generate around 2.6 billion USD by 2025. This particular study was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic. Looking at the recent studies about VR in Education and Healthcare, Covid-19 has undoubtedly affected the forecast.
Coronavirus has indeed sped up the growth in the VR and AR industry. It has also opened up numerous opportunities for budding entrepreneurs in search of their next big idea. Head-mounted displays such as Oculus Quest have shown us how affordable and high-quality gear can take the market by storm. The demand for these HMDs is still high. Entrepreneurs can explore the idea of building either more affordable HMDs for the Architecture and Healthcare industries. VR Training and simulation for Aerospace and Defense is another opportunity waiting to be explored.