Gaming remains the major target for investment in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, but respondents to a survey of business executives said that healthcare, medical devices, education and other areas show significant promise.
Law firm Perkins Coie surveyed 200 executives for its annual VR and AR study. Fifty-four percent of respondents said gaming is where they expect to see the most investing in the development of immersive technology or content in the next 12 months.
Healthcare and medical devices came next with 43%, while education, military and defence, and manufacturing and automotive were all chosen by at least 20% of respondents.
Workforce development also showed promise, with 78% of respondents agreeing with the statement, “XR is highly applicable to workforce development at this time”.
An examination of PitchBook data revealed a spike in global venture capital deal value in Q4 2018, reaching $1.7 billion within AR and VR and surpassing the amount seen in the previous three quarters combined.
Perkins Coie did find concerns about the about the quality of user experience and available content offerings, along with the pace of adoption.
Respondents to its survey found user experience, such as bulky hardware or technical glitches, to be the biggest obstacle for mass adoption of AR (26%) and VR (27%), but that’s down from last year when user experience was at 39% for AR and 41% for VR.
In 2019, content offerings were also a concern for mass adoption for both AR (24%) and VR (19%), staying similar to 2018’s survey for both for AR (25%) and VR (17%).
Despite these concerns, industry and investor sentiment remains positive. “The idea of VR and AR as a means of connecting people to the digital world in a much more natural and human way is profound,” Tipatat Chennavasin, general partner at Venture Reality Fund, told Perkins Coie.
“It will help everyone benefit from the power of the digital economy. It allows us to redefine computer literacy—we can adapt the computer to the way we think and want to work.”