The signs have been coming – but now it seems as if virtual, augmented and hybrid reality (VR) are set to become a part of New Zealand life. The last year has seen an unprecedented jump in the use of VR in a number of industries, including in education, tourism, public services and business. This take-off is highlighted by the growth potential of the country's cross-reality industry – which is forecasted to reach over $320 million in annual revenue by 20201.
The appeal of VR
What makes VR such a useful tool is in its potential to save resources. The realism enabled with VR technology can address a range of issues, including helping train for new skills, conducting safer scientific tests and better communicating with people. One VR headset could do the job of several workers, or improve the customer service experience.
VR use is highly advanced in other countries like the U.S. and Finland, and contributes towards a forecasted $205 billion industry over the next five years2. The investment we are now seeing in Kiwi organisations like the VR/AR Association is long overdue.
Where VR is taking over New Zealand technology
Looking at news headlines from the last year, you can see just how much virtual reality is being used in job sectors across New Zealand and to develop more opportunities. VR technology has been adopted in a variety of industries, including:
- Project 'Uniquely Nelson' offers shoppers the chance to explore the South Island city's range of retail outlets.
- The Institute of Environmental Science and Research and Auckland company StaplesVR have developed a tool that allows crime scene investigators to train with virtual crime scenes from their desks. 360 degree VR photography is also being used by New Zealand Police to generate images of potential crime scenes.
- VR headsets have been used in schools to help children with disabilities like autism or sensory difficulties to adjust better to public settings.
- Wellington International Airport and Victoria University have developed a virtual holiday experience to promote links to Singapore Airlines.
Taking technology to the next level with VR
Investing in VR technology can also have huge benefits for business and IT. Innovations like ProjectR, a VR hub based in Wellington, are developing new innovations everyday that can directly impact the lives of Kiwis all over the country and establish New Zealand's name as an equal-part player on the VR world stage.
Innovative IT and technology thinkers in New Zealand will help usher in greater VR use, enabling the country to feed into an industry worth around $40 billion a year worldwide.
Finding people who can develop your technology and IT infrastructure can be difficult for businesses looking to innovate – contact the 920 team today if you are looking for the best.
1– Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment report.
2– NZ Business Magazine