5 Industries That Will Drive VR Growth in 2018

Everyone is predicting big things for VR in 2018, but VR Playhouse’s Ian Forester identifies 5 industries that will benefit the most.

As we enter 2018 there’s a great deal of expectation being placed upon the growth of virtual reality (VR) and the coming consumer initiation of augmented reality (AR). However, while this year may not see the mass adoption that these immersive mediums are destined for, there are many areas which will a significant uptake in 2018. VR Playhouse’s CEO, Ian Forester, has delivered his thoughts on what aspects of VR will see the most growth, and why.

VR Playhouse art

VR Playhouse is a Los Angeles-based creative studio focused exclusively on creating immersive content. Founded in 2014, the company has worked with numerous clients from various industries, including Toyota, Disney and Sony Music, and has also experimented with the creation of unique music videos. Forester has been involved in the industry for several years now, and in that time has developed an understanding of the trends that immersive media has followed.

Below are Forester’s predictions for the top five trends that will develop throughout 2018, as the expansion of the VR medium becomes more widely adopted by other industries. VRFocus will continue to keep you updated with all the latest VR projects from Forester and VR Playhouse.

Training and Simulation: Continuing and professional education for adults will see a major surge in 2018, with immersive experiences popping up for professionals renewing industry licenses and undergoing highly technical training. Careers and tasks with a high degree of technical knowledge and intricate safety processes will be able to simplify their training procedures with VR training. Costs can also be trimmed for businesses by allowing VR to track and measure performance of certain duties by employees.

Design Tools: For product design, space design and home design, expect to see a multitude of new VR/AR tools that help aid the design process and streamline communication from designer to customer and reduce costly review periods.

VR Playhouse Ian Forester

Anxiety Relief: Virtual reality has shown a high degree of efficacy in treating pain or anxiety. With the highly addictive nature of drugs commonly used to treat these afflictions and a widespread opioid epidemic, therapeutic VR experiences can help to lower prescription drug rates and set up patients with treatment plans that are less risky long-term.

Data Protection: VR as a viewing mechanism provides vastly more unconscious feedback than any other medium. This year, industry insiders will be forced to consider the ethical concerns of data mining in VR and will be well-served to put best practices into place before the financial benefits of this data get on the radar of the wrong parties.

Retail Revitalization: Brick and mortar retail locations have been continuing to feel the heat from online retail giants and shopping malls have been getting hit worst of all. But there is a huge opportunity for VR to seize this stagnant public space for location-based entertainment (LBE), creating arcades and similar environments that allow consumers to engage with VR experiences in a public setting. This will not only serve to broaden (albeit slowly) the consumer reach for VR, but will also help revive the shopping mall experience with a revitalized level of interactivity, technology and entertainment.

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