Think Virtual Reality Is A Dystopian Nightmare? These 5 Stats Will Change Your Mind

Author

Katie Sola, Forbes Staff

February 24, 2016

This picture of Mark Zuckerberg confidently striding past an audience wearing Samsung’s virtual reality headsets went viral over the weekend. Alarmed online pundits drew comparisons to Orwell’s 1984, The Matrix, and the obese humans of Wall-E. But don’t panic — here are five very real statistics about the money, jobs and imaginative reach of virtual reality that will get you excited about the technology all over again.

$14.6 billion in revenues by 2020, according to consultants at the Analysis Group. Facebook, which owns Oculus Rift, commissioned a study into the potential global economic impact of virtual reality. Their most conservative estimate, assuming low adoption of the technology, was $14.6 billion dollars. If the public embraces virtual reality, revenues could reach $126 billion.

200,000 developers have registered to build games for Oculus Rift, and the company’s VP of Product confirmed in 2015 that they are building hundreds of games. That’s a lot of enthusiasm, and represents considerable opportunity for developers who nail the technology and produce hit games.

56% improvement in post-traumatic stress disorder through virtual reality therapy. Traditionally, therapists treat PTSD by having patients return to the traumatic memory. Telling the story helps process the memory. Virtual reality allows traumatized people to return to a virtual recreation of the traumatic memory, thus helping them process it and recover from the symptoms of PTSD.  A meta-analysis of virtual reality therapy studies found that the treatment was effective. In one striking study, a veteran of the Iraq war experienced a 56% reduction on the clinician-administered PTSD scale following just six hours of therapy. 

$3.5 billion in venture capital investments. That’s the total value of the 225 investments made in virtual and augmented reality in the last two years, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report.

48,678,219 miles to Mars. That’s the distance bridged by NASA’s virtual reality depictions of the red planet.  NASA has a range of virtual reality experiences available to viewers with different headsets. If you don’t have an Oculus Rift, you can check out this 360 degree view of the Curiosity Rover pootling around the Namib Dune. 

This article was written by Katie Sola from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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