Before 2020, self-isolation was called hikikomori, acute social withdrawal; this year it became the new normal for the whole world. The pandemic health regulations have changed everything: how people interact, how communication and meetings are handled, how children ‘go to school’, how the health system works, etc. Luckily, it’s not 1918 of the Spanish flu, and the immersive technological advancements of the 21st century do help with overcoming the lockdown consequences.
Virtual Reality has become one of the prominent technological advances that promoted adjustment to the alternative reality of lockdowns. VR development companies are no longer working just within the gaming industry; they also enhance retail, construction, health, engineering, communication, travel, sport, inspections, education, real estate, and many others. Let’s see how VR contributed to lockdown coping and what it means for the industry.
How VR can Help to Overcome Lockdown
Being a part of the technological world, VR development is no longer just about technology. It is about the way we live and experience the world, and how this advanced knowledge can reshape, design, and enhance everyday life.
VR in Education
More than 190 countries have been struggling with remote learning at schools and universities from mid-April and up until today. It means that 1.6 billion learners worldwide now suffer from the consequences of the pandemic. Some schools have adopted online learning painlessly while others still suffer from significant difficulties with delivering the same level of knowledge to the students.
To help their medical students, the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH, developed and started using a mixed-reality app for human anatomy classes. The app allows seeing the human body in 2D and 3D as well as painting to enhance understanding of the subject.
Another great example of VR in education is DEVAR’s solutions. This VR game development company focused on making a product for younger learners and released educational books and toys. Their offer helped many young kids survive the lockdown in the first couple of transitioning months and distracted them from the 4-walls reality.
Education in the business sector also implemented immersive technologies in the onboarding and training routines. Field exercises and on-site training sessions became impossible once the movement restrictions were implemented throughout the world. Such solutions as VirtualSpeech to practice public speaking or Mursion’s discrimination VR-based course allowed businesses to continue collaboration and equality initiatives throughout the year.
Virtual reality solutions have the potential to imitate classrooms, replace practice activities for students, and provide a more universally engaging environment for learners of all ages and majors. The current predictions are that by 2025, investment in VR application development for education will reach $700 million.
VR in Business
The growth of the VR market has been predicted to reach $7.1 billion this year because businesses heavily invest in virtual and augmented reality solutions for their industries. Companies like Honda started offering their clients remote test-drives with the help of VR while St Giles Hotels offer immersive tours around their hotels to potential guests. Virtual reality is a powerful tool for marketing, especially when in-person visits to stores, workshops, and showrooms are extremely limited.
The meet-ups for the brainstorming were replaced with Zoom calls during lockdowns. While visual communication does help, it still significantly limits teams’ abilities to come up with a new design, solution, or concept. VR development can change this forever by allowing teams to meet in virtual reality and also have the power to change the design of a prototype, for example. So instead of writing down the changes in GoogleDocs, the design can be amended and approved during a single VR call. Reality Works is one of the early examples of such solutions and can give a fair demo of how it can work.
The retail industry is also expecting to hijack sales by 17% after the introduction of the virtual reality experience. Clients can position a new sofa in their home and try on various clothes right away, which promotes conscious purchasing and a greater way of remote shopping.
VR in Gaming
Gaming became more than just a game for fun. Top VR game developers have already started altering their approach to gaming to make it more educational, therapeutic, and useful for the players.
Here are the top VR games for entertainment in 2020:
- Budget Cuts: Don’t like robots that take away your workplace? It’s time to eliminate them and get the reins back.
- Danger Goat: Try living like a goat for a change! Overcome obstacles and don’t get into traps.
- Vader Immortal: fight Darth Vader because you are the one who can save the galaxy.
- Vacation Simulator: yes, lockdown is not the best experience, so go on a virtual trip with this game.
- No Man’s Sky: survive in the world of virtual reality with perfect close-to-reality graphics.
Here are the best VR game simulations for lockdown:
- Rec Room: a one-size-fits-all world with multiple games for group activities
- Supernatural: cardio fitness app with perfect visuals for easier workouts.
- Job simulator: for those who miss the office and its fun aspects.
- Google Cardboard: traveling around the world becomes real without leaving your home.
- Sairento VR: become a cyber-ninja, complete tasks, collect objects, and exercise while hiding in the darkness.
VR for Private Life
Theaters, cinemas, galleries, museums were also forced to close during the lockdown time, and many have quickly approached the VR game developers to support immersive experience. Personal meetings also got moved to the VR calls to give people a greater feeling of community. Group training in virtual reality, apps for traveling, learning new skills, real presence training, and workshop solutions have merged this year to help the world cope with the pandemic reality. And the truth is, it worked! Several researchers from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart studied 400 people during the lockdown; they confirmed that fee use of the gear for VR development allows people to better cope with anxiety and feeling of loneliness while in isolation.
How much does VR app development cost?
With all the noise around VR development companies, it might seem that development of a new app, game, or other alternative-reality solution would cost a fortune, considering that the market skyrockets in 2020. Well, everyone defines ‘fortune’ in their own way, so instead of beating about the bush, let’s talk numbers and human hours.
What are the Pre-Requirements for VR App Development?
It takes from a month to several years to develop a VR/AR application. The length and scope of the product depend on:
- App complexity: 3-5 weeks for a small project (a basic game), up to a year for a mid-size project (online store or some simple-plot game), eternity if you aim to enter the market and advance in it.
- Location of app developers: America’s VR game development company charges $150-$250/hour, Western Europe up to $150/hour, Eastern Europe $25-$80/hour, Singapore about $20/hour, India’s pricing begins with $10/hour and up. Remember that location defines the cost, not the level of service!
- Company reputation: VR development companies charge based on their experience and reputation; the rule of a thumb – the more popular the name, the higher the price.
- Platforms of use: One-platform app is much cheaper and faster to deliver than a solution for Gohar VR, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and HTC Vive all together.
On average, the development of a mid-to-large VR application costs between $40,000 and $200,000 with the higher end relating to 3D games and immersive training apps due to their richness in features.
What are VR App Development Trends in 2021?
Now, as you know what has happened this year and how much it costs to create something new, it is just the right time to consider how VR development can enhance your business and which trends you might follow to multiply your business profit next year.
The easiest and most obvious business idea and trend for 2021 is gear VR development. Yes, you read it right. Since the application of software around the world is finally reaching the wide market, becoming available for individuals around the globe, the development of AR/VR hardware is expected to take off next year. VR headsets for smartphones are a long way from perfection, so there is room for new ideas and investments here.
VR application in e-commerce is also another never-ending trend. People will continue buying things, always, and since the format of shopping and even online shopping has changed tremendously this year, consumers prefer a more personalized and immersive experience to the dull clicking on the product pages. Development of VR rooms for clothes fitting, VR advertising, personalized VR stores like eBay Australia presented back in 2016, all this is the future, and a very close one. Such investment can easily start making profits even in a year’s time.
The entertainment industry, however, beaten in 2020, will continue to thrive, and VR’s possibilities in this realm are infinite. VR games, VR arcades, VR concerts, VR cinema, literally any aspect of the industry is easy to capitalize on within a year or two. Considering that top VR game developers expect the peak for the VR industry to be in 2024, there is just enough time to enter the competition.
The Bottom Line
The world of virtual reality slowly but steadily becomes an indispensable part of our everyday lives. The lockdown experience of 2020 proved that VR development could be a perfect solution for all ages and problems: from the fear of loneliness to the necessity to continue learning. The high-standard trends set this year will continue to evolve and integrate with the daily routine even further so if you are planning to monetize your interest in virtual reality, this is just the perfect moment to hop on this train.
If you are looking for a reliable partner in the world of VR application development, meet the dream team of Swag Soft! We love challenges and know how to turn them into profits. So keep in touch and let’s develop the future together.