“As the benefits to VR become clearer, the selection of immersive experiences available in the classroom and beyond will grow rapidly”
While consumer-focused verticals such as 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, research has shown.
ABI Research has found that business to business to consumer (B2B2C) VR 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,” said 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 visualise 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, said ABI, as well as looking inside the human body using software from the likes of EON Reality [pictured].
While the selection of VR content currently available for classrooms is limited, ABI 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.
The education market vertical, which ABI 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, it stated. 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,” concluded 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.”