Whilst the biggest virtual reality (VR) news generally tends to revolve around high-end head-mounted displays (HMDs), it’s mobile VR that’s driving adoption with Samsung Gear VR leading the way and Google Daydream starting to pick up the pace. In a recent report by online retailer Mobiles.co.uk has charted a sharp increase in demand for VR, as well as augmented reality (AR).
Examining the changes to UK consumer interest in immersive technologies over the course of the last 12 months, the report highlights an increase of 300 percent for VR, while AR has seen growth but not to the same extent at 25 percent. On the flip side, Google searches for ‘wearable technology’ – seen as the ‘the next big thing’ – were actually down by 18 percent.
Andrew Cartledge, Mobile Expert at Mobiles.co.uk said in a statment: “This data highlights what the public wants, and the numbers are pretty clear – technology that encourages escapism, or helps to make our lives simpler is key. Technology that encourages us to track and moderate our behaviour is becoming less appealing.
“We’ve also seen apps like FaceApp come onto the market and boom in a matter of weeks. There is no denying that AI, VR and AR are here to stay – because people want them.”
While Sean Duffy, Technical Director of Holosphere VR, based in Birmingham commented: “Google Daydream is having a big impact on the mobile VR experience. 2017 should see a boom in Google Daydream-ready devices on the higher end of the android ecosystem, and this has the potential to bring quality VR experiences to the masses via the world’s most wide reaching mobile Operating System.
“Android’s software distribution network mixed with rapid advances in mobile graphics capability mean it’s only a matter of time before most devices on the market will be ‘VR ready.”
While Samsung Gear VR is still the dominant force in mobile VR, having originally launched in 2015 and since then been heavily promoted by the company with bundle deals with its latest smartphones, over the next year or so competition will be a lot more demanding.
The amount of Daydream compatible smartphones are due to increase, but also standalone headsets will become much more prominent. At Google I/O this year the company revealed work on an all-in-one headset that would be manufactured by HTC and Lenovo. While a recent report also indicated that Oculus is developing something similar.
As the industry continues to grow and develop new hardware, VRFocus will bring you the latest updates.