Posted on August 23, 2016 by staff

VR ‘will go truly mobile by the end of the year’


A virtual reality expert says the technology “will have gone mobile by the end of the year”.

VR is a buzzword in tech, with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and HTC Vive making headlines and the industry set to be worth $150 billion by 2020.

When PlayStation VR hits the shelves, the technology will truly go mass market.

But when will it become a staple part of business plans?

Rob Black, co-founder of the Real Space virtual reality hub at Liverpool Science Park, thinks that for the tech to improve, it just needs a few brave pioneers.

“It’s still ‘first generation’ at the moment, which means that it takes time to catch on,” he told BusinessCloud.

“Everyone’s busy; they don’t want to go on a programming learning curve to find out how to do new things.

“It needs someone a bit ahead of the curve to talk about it in ways that are personal to the individual.

“The plan is to make it easy to programme, and easy to import and export things.”

This, along with optimisation for mobile, will help people go from being curious about VR to actually interacting with it, says Black.

“Currently there’s Google’s cardboard system, which is  basically a free viewing experience but an experience where people can operate and navigate the software is coming.

“It hasn’t established a mobile solution yet but when it comes it’ll become cheaper and more accessible.

“VR will have gone mobile by the end of the year.”

Black set up the hub with fellow University of Liverpool PhD student Michael Verity earlier this year to support micro SMEs, creative freelancers, entrepreneurs and technology start-ups in the VR and augmented reality space.

Verity said at the time: “VR and AR present real opportunities in so many sectors such as enterprise, gaming, medical, engineering, architecture, design and computing and this growth is set to continue.

“We want the hub to act as a magnet to attract any businesses in the VR/AR community to come and learn, collaborate and accelerate their technologies.”

Virtalis technical director Andy Connell told BusinessCloud that the power of VR can convert even the biggest sceptic into a believer as they realise how the technology can improve their bottom line.

And Flipbook Studio creative director Ben Haworth said VR offers a fun way for businesses to hook people in.

Meanwhile a new VR experience is benefiting customers and driving up viewings at office and retail space provider Bruntwood.