Virtual Reality – Will 2018 be the defining year?
“Virtual Reality – it ultimately will change entertainment,” Bernard Gershon, digital media consultant and former Disney executive
Virtual Reality is here to stay
The term virtual reality describes a three-dimensional computer generated environment which is widely applied across different sectors like Healthcare, Defense & Military, Media & Entertainment, Education, Fashion, Architecture, Marketing, Sports and more.
In the Media & Entertainment tech community, there is no getting around it: Virtual Reality is here, and it is here to stay. With VC funding in the VR space surging up, the technology has received a boost which underlines the interest, and most likely, the bright future for this space. The later part of 2017 saw a 79% increase in VR related investments when compared to its preceding year.
VR in Media & Entertainment
Today, Hollywood largely depends on augmented reality, virtual reality and sometimes a blend of both, mixed reality. By end of 2017, there were over 450 compnies across the world developing infrastructure, tools, platforms, and applications for the VR/AR ecosystem. The global investment in AR and VR was more than $2.3 billion, higher than preceding years.
With companies like Magic Leap receiving just shy of $1.5 billion in VC funding, the scene is set for a rapidly exponential development within VR technologies. Enterprise investments were up 69 percent. Tools and platforms for next-generation reality capture were up 56 percent, and investments in infrastructure for tethered head-mounted displays were up 47 percent. The report also showed that the games category grew by 40 percent.
The other good news comes from Goldman Sachs that recently projected an $80 billion industry by 2025, with $45 billion spent on goggles and other equipment and $35 billion more for the content to play video games or watch sports and entertainment in VR.
VR and its sub technologies
VR has gotten a bit of reputation for being quite difficult to put a finger on as a specific technology. With sub technologies within the area popping up almost on a yearly basis, this is rather understandable. Most venture-backed investments around VR in media and entertainment are categorized under four buckets: Cinematic VR, sports/live events, content-creation tools and gaming.
However, further development of AR has even gotten a name now, MR (Mixed Reality). With MR we see the virtual components from AR being able to actively interact with the real world components. The development within VR is gaining so much traction that it can often be difficult to coin specific technologies to a certain VR sub technology.
Movie makers seek opportunities for director-uncontrolled viewer perspective in VR movies. Visual effects engineers look at improving motion-capture techniques for inserting real-life human holograms into virtual worlds. Game developers look to create ethereal escapes and immersive horror and shooter games. And concert and sporting event producers look to engage and monetize fans on a new and exciting event viewing medium.
The term ‘VR’ today represents to a larger degree an umbrella for all the different technologies which we find in this area today: Conventional VR in the form HDM’s (Head Mounted Displays). Perhaps the most well-known technology within the space at this point.
Anthill Studio and its perspective of Virtual Reality
At Anthill Studio we are looking for the next big technology that will give us the next Pokémon Go. In the future we will see VR technologies playing an increasingly larger part in the Media & Entertainment industry, becoming more intuitive and responsive to interact with. A journey which we look forward to going on with our portfolio companies at Anthill Studio.
Are you working on VR / AR technologies and are looking for your company to be accelerated? Then apply to the Anthill Studio.