According to a report by ABI Research, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360-degree video will usher in a new era of interactive and immersive content, which will generate an estimated $6 billion (USD) by 2022.
The report shows that since the launch of major VR platforms such as Oculus Rift, large companies has now been tested in all major genres, including sports and music. The report predicts that engagement with these interactive formats will only increase over time.
“Immersive content promises to marry Hollywood style content, tapping into the production elements of video games,” says Sam Rosen, Managing Director and VP at ABI Research. “New technologies exist to conduct fully spatial and/or light field mapping of spaces, as well as to generate holographic models of actors. Combining these techniques with artist-generated layers and interactive storytelling elements, such as speech synthesis, opens the door to using gaming technologies to deliver immersive entertainment to large audiences. Early on, content will probably only target location-based VR installations, but broader reach of the genre could come when a larger number of standalone VR headsets launch in 2018.”
Though the does report acknowledge the current barriers in place with regards to both the creations and consumption of these immersive technologies, noting such issues as the complex workflows needed to create and stitch together 360-degree video, along with the high price of entry for high-end VR platforms.
“The 360-degree video market presents a struggle for content creators,” Rosen continued, “On the one hand the new technology enables them to tell stories in a more impactful and immersive way, but it also requires new expertise, workflows and hardware. Add to this the limited installed base and still developing business models and it quickly becomes difficult to greenlight a project if ROI only looks at the near-term. The development of the market will depend on both smaller firms testing experiences with modest budgets, as well as larger firms investing in full scale projects and sponsoring internal and external innovation in the market.”
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