Enterprise adoption of VR is among the biggest changes in immersive technology over the past year, as a new survey of developers from HTC Vive reveals
➨ Conducted before the outbreak of Covid-19, 53% of 350 participating developers said they are seeing businesses incorporating VR in some way
➨ HTC Vive’s survey also found that more developers are now building enterprise applications (46%) than consumer experiences (42%). Compared to last year’s findings, developers focused on creating business solutions jumped 14%
➨ Other results from the HTC Vive survey show how developers are attempting to overcome VR’s limitations until the technology matures
Just over half of developers who responded to an HTC Vive survey said that an increase in enterprise adoption of VR was the biggest change in immersive technology over the past year.
Conducted before the outbreak of Covid-19, 53% of 350 participating developers said they are seeing businesses incorporating VR in some way.
HTC Vive believes that the pandemic and events of the past few months have “only ramped up interest in enterprise and commercial VR”.
“Businesses are now looking for innovative and impactful solutions to communicate and collaborate with their employees and customers and even to remotely train their workforce.”
HTC Vive teamed up with the market intelligence firm IDC to conduct the survey in January and it’s releasing the results in two batches. This first lot focuses on key opportunities and trends for VR developers.
Lewis Ward, research director for gaming and VR/AR at IDC, expects increased enterprise use to translate into headset sales. He said: “Partly driven by this increase in commercial and enterprise adoption, IDC projects VR headset shipments will top 5.7 million worldwide in 2020.”
Wider enterprise adoption of VR is also translating into a shift in developer focus.
HTC Vive’s survey found that more developers are now building enterprise applications (46%) than consumer experiences (42%). Compared to last year’s findings, developers focused on creating business solutions jumped 14%.
HTC Vive is also seeing this shift to enterprise. Vive X, HTC’s investment arm, recently revealed that 17 of its portfolio companies attracted additional funding in the past year, with the majority of capital going to enterprise solutions in healthcare and employee training.
Developers still believe gaming applications for VR represent the best opportunity for growth, but training and simulation (63%) and education (41%) are not far behind, according to the survey.
Workforce training and simulations are big focuses at HTC Vive, which recently teamed up with developer FreeRangeXR to launch a safety and hazard training solution.
Two of ViveX’s portfolio companies, Talespin and Bodyswaps, are doing great work in soft skills training.
Other results from the HTC Vive survey show how developers are attempting to overcome VR’s limitations until the technology matures.
Multi-platform development continues to be the norm, with three-quarters of those surveyed confirming they were developing their next project for more than one VR platform.
Developers working on projects for both tethered and standalone headsets believe that being platform and hardware agnostic will enable greater success.
The increase in enterprise adoption of VR is unsurprising in itself. Nearly 200 professionals representing startups, enterprise technology firms and investors were bullish about expanding avenues for monetisation, largely due to the potential of the enterprise market.
Also unsurprising is the interest in training and simulation, given the obviousness of the use case, both before the pandemic and today.
PwC’s study on the benefits of VR for soft skills training, in which Talespin was involved, offered hard evidence, and you only need to see a hardware developer in HTC Vive pushing the use case to understand its potential.
But having these trends confirmed by a decent sample of developers gives them a weight they did not yet have.
After all, developers are the ones on the ground, working every day to find customers for their products and services, and having to react quickly when their preferred use cases don’t materialise.
HTC Vive will release the second batch of results from its survey next week. They will reveal developers’ largest obstacles and how to work around them.