Mobile Virtual Reality and by extension, Augmented Reality will be massive in India. The keyword for me is MOBILE.
- India virtually skipped the analog telephone era and jumped directly into the Mobile phone era.
- With the entry of companies such as Reliance Jio (with massively deep pockets) into the Mobile Service Provider market, the cost of high-speed (Read as 4G) data will be driven down.
- Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are not yet available for consumers in India, which means it has to be imported, and import duty is absolutely crazy in India.
- Oculus Rift and HTC Vive machines (gaming rigs) are not cheap and are mostly bought by serious gamers and companies dabbling in VR/AR.
- With the release of Google Daydream, more Mobile Hardware manufacturers will begin to get onto the Daydream VR platform, which means the entry barrier (i.e. cost) will be lowered.
- With the launch of the Snapdragon 835, the GPU capabilities on the Mobile device will get better and better. The Snapdragon 835 is just the beginning.
- We are willing to bet that Apple will announce a VR/AR HMD in 2017, although we accept that these will not come cheap. Do you know of a Apple device that does not break the bank? Wondering why this point is here, given that we are talking about costs? That is because Apple traditionally always got into a market segment after it becomes popular and then disrupt the market. They will drive other manufacturers to offer similar (not the same) offerings at lower price points which will help the VR/AR market.
- Google has already dropped the price of the HMD through their Daydream HMD (as compared to Samsung Gear VR) and I see a fight looming in the Mobile HMD segment?—?Principally it is Google Vs. Facebook (after all Facebook owns Oculus which has helped developed the Samsung Gear VR HMD). We suspect there will be a couple more manufacturers will get into the Mobile HMD fray before consolidation kicks in.
- Screen resolution will improve and improve dramatically. Already there are rumours that Samsung S8 will have 4K display and given that Apple is moving towards OLEDs and the fact that the iPhone 7 can support upto 450 draw calls on their current GPU, screen resolution is going to get better and then some.
- Lastly, the January 9th article in Quartz titled “The irresistible urge Indians have to watch other Indians having sex” states that India is number 4 globally to hit PornHub’s servers in search of smut. The question you would have is “So?” Well, Indians like to watch porn and we are sure there is a significant number out there that is willing to spend Rs. 6500-Rs. 8000 ($95?—?$120) for sure on “immersive” porn, once they experience it.
Will this happen over 2017? Definitely not, but its not too far.
While we started off that this is the case in India, we honestly believe that Mobile Virtual Reality will be the platform that will take VR and/or AR to the global masses and not just in India. Certainly not ones that require a HMD that is tethered (either by a wire or wirelessly) to an expensive gaming rig attached to it.
And for those of you out there dismissing VR/AR as a “fad” or as someone told me the other day “3D failed globally, I don’t see how VR/AR will fare any better”, we’d say, watch out as we think VR/AR is the next computing platform that is here to stay.
Whoo.. a lot of predictions up there.. How many times will we have to eat crow will be seen in the future.
This article first appeared on Medium.