Virtual Reality has been the biggest technology trend of 2016 by far. It has been a long time coming but the technology is finally coming of age. And it’s becoming a part of not only closed tech circles, but of normal everyday life through new devices that are coming to the fore. The biggest of these is the recently released PlayStation VR headset from Sony, which is set to be one of the biggest ways that VR will take on mass appeal in the coming months.
In addition to PS VR, there are many other VR headsets making their way to the market such as Google’s new Dreamview, and the Oculus Rift. It is the success of devices such as these that is crucial for the future of the wearables industry.
If Virtual reality was the technological buzzword of 2016, then wearables were the tech that defined the previous year, 2015. There are a number of factors that led to this but it was mainly due to the buzz caused by Apple releasing the Apple Watch Smartwatch.
Virtual Reality Wearables go Mainstream
As with virtual reality headsets, there had been other smartwatches from other tech brands available. The market had been growing steadily until Apple decided to join the race. That particular sector exploded and creating a thriving market in the smart wrist-worn devices.
Since then however, the smartwatch market is almost reaching saturation point. Wearables had started to look like they were set for a decline into obscurity. As even Apple Watch sales numbers dipped, industry analyst predicted the decline of wearables as we know them. And the industry suddenly needed a lift.
This is where Virtual Reality comes in: as a wearable device, VR headsets are beginning to show that there is much more to wearable technology than just smartwatches and fitness trackers. This pivot has become an important aspect of the growth and success of the wearables market as whole.
Thankfully, the signs are that products such as Sony’s PS VR, Google’s Dream view and Samsung’s affordable smartwatch-enabled Gear VR headset will lead to widespread consumer adoption. It will also cause a massive shift in how content is consumed. At the same time, in its return into the limelight as we approach the holiday season, there is still hope for the wearables market. VR headsets are sure to top many wish lists this year.
With that in mind, it should be noted that for VR to truly succeed there will need to be a wide array of VR content for users to access and enjoy.
Thankfully companies such as Sony and Google are doubling up on everything from gaming content, music, movies and travel or educational experiences. All of which immerse users into worlds they may not have been able to access, real or imagined.
And that is the key upon which the success and adoption lies. Early looks suggest that the industry is on the right track.
In addition to that, the success of Virtual reality will lead to research and development into different applications of wearable tech. And all of this will be achieved with help from VR headsets and augmented reality ones such as Microsoft’s Hololens. This means even more new wearables products will be developed and may soon be available.
The hope is that this is just the beginning. Wearables will grow from strength to strength as consumers adopt new technologies such as VR and move the industry forward.
For an industry that was looking bereft of ideas at the start of the year, the arrival of mass VR products is a much needed shot in the arm. For the wearables industry; long may the innovation continue.