While consumer-focused verticals like gaming continue to control the virtual reality (VR) landscape, device usage is spiking in education, as the devices foster a more immersive, effective learning environment. ABI Research finds that B2B2C virtual reality device shipments will account for 90% of shipments in the education market vertical.
“VR allows educational facilities to provide a level of immersion and interactivity to their teaching services that would not be possible otherwise,” says Shelli Bernard, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Through initiatives like Google Expeditions and zSpace, students can explore notable landmarks in foreign countries or inaccessible locations like space from the comforts of their classroom. The technology opens the doors to a new way to visualize data and conduct research.”
VR devices offer teachers new tools to keep students engaged and provide an alternative learning method to support those students who do not benefit from traditional teaching methods. The use of VR devices in the classroom can also improve safety, as students can now learn about harsh chemicals in the sciences, for instance, without actually exposing themselves to any harmful risks.
While the selection of VR content currently available for classrooms is limited, ABI Research predicts that such VR tools, like Alchemy VR and Immersive VR Education, will soon support learning across a wide demographic and range of topics. And with product price points hitting both the low and high ends of the spectrum, even institutions with smaller budgets, like public schools, will be able to purchase large quantities of these devices.
And the education market vertical, which ABI Research expects to account for more than 13% of VR device shipments this year, will not be the only one to benefit from VR. The commerce and marketing, high-end entertainment, retail, and tourism verticals will also see significant B2B2C use of VR. And while the gaming and media and entertainment verticals will also see some B2B2C VR use, these verticals will primarily experience B2C-focused sales for the time being.
“As the benefits to VR become clearer, the selection of immersive experiences available in the classroom and beyond will grow rapidly,” concludes Eric Abbruzzese, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “Given its current growth trajectory, VR has the potential to drastically improve the way people across a variety of different enterprises experience their surroundings.”
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