IBC 2018 Takeaway: Virtual Reality Set for Lift Off in 2019

During the VR Tech Masterclass of IBC 2018, experts and thought leaders in the immersive media industry said that VR’s growth will be strong in the next few years.

And, VR Industry Forum President Rob Koenen (speaking above) said that we “will really start to grow next year”.

In his speech, he attributed the promising growth of the immersive medium to all the exciting VR hardware and software developments that happened (and will happen) this 2018.

“Plenty is happening in the market, which it is predicted will really start to grow next year,” he said.

Greenlight Insights predicted that by 2022 (four years from now), the global VR market including hardware, content, software and services will grow to $74.8 billion.

We are on the road to VR adoption

In the IBC VR Masterclass, Koenen insisted that there is no more hype about VR, but the adoption of this technology is on track.

People are accessing immersive content using their flat devices such as mobiles or tablets. Even without a headset or a powerful PC, they are exploring 3D/VR and 360-degree photos and videos.

Also, a lot of businesses and industries are embracing this tech.

“Everybody is dipping their toes in the water and there are a lot of investments going on,” he said.

Yet, before the world completely embraces VR, a couple of other things must happen.

For one, we need a market with producers with a wide reach that makes use of VR. The immersive sector is looking at the existing media. Facebook and YouTube are using it already. And, a couple of broadcast networks like BBC, NBC, and ABC is exploring virtual reality content too.

Also, both consumers and VR device manufacturers must continue to demand high-end VR experiences. We already see this because headsets are getting better. Manufacturers are releasing standalone wireless devices with higher degrees of freedom (DoF) for a more reasonable price.

“What we need for VR to be a success is for the for producers to introduce services and products in the market. [but] This takes time,” Koenen added.

A healthy VR ecosystem is also coming together, from VR toolsets in editing systems with specialist stitching software tools to the rollout of powerful 5G networks to support the delivery of VR and AR content.

The IBC Conference was a six-day event held last September 13-18, 2018 in Amsterdam. It is one of the world’s most anticipated, annual event in the electronic media, entertainment and technology industry. It is an unrivalled global destination for discussion and debate about the many different challenges facing the electronic media and entertainment industry, both in its sessions and in the range of networking opportunities it affords.

The next one is scheduled for September 13-17, 2019.