Virtual Reality (VR) is a new brainchild of modern technology; an unreal world created by technical means and transmitted to man through his feelings. It is used to create games, applications, presentations and other objects.
Prospects for the development of the VR content market
VR has a huge potential: experts estimate that by 2020 the industry will be worth $30 billion, as the industry is now rapidly gaining momentum. The popularity of development under VR is confirmed by numerous surveys. Thus, in late 2015, the analytical company Station conducted a study among U.S. residents, asking them to assess their interest in virtual reality on a five-point scale.
The statistics showed that:
- 7% estimated their interest per unit;
- 5% by a two;
- 26% of respondents rated their interest as four points;
- 46% put the industry in a firm five.
Other studies also confirm that the industry will thrive. Experts expect that profits from software products in VR will grow 60 times by 2018 (compared to late 2015 – early 2016).
Where do I need to develop VR applications?
The first thing that comes to mind with the words “virtual reality” – PC or mobile games, all kinds of movie theaters, from 3D and above, and other areas of entertainment. Indeed, the development of virtual reality applications is relevant mainly for games, as their creators can better immerse gamers in the gameplay and thus improve the feeling of participants in battles, races, research and other processes on the screen.
But VR is also in demand in many other areas. Thus, with the help of modern technologies create colorful presentations or applications that have real benefits.
For example, content for:
- Phobia therapy;
- excursions around the world (virtual tourism);
- generation of beautiful species from bird’s-eye view;
- design and visualization of objects;
There are a few vivid examples of VR use:
- Startup MindMaze develops virtual spaces designed to help patients recover from heart attacks;
- Vivid Vision creates games to treat amblyopia and strabismus;
- SDK Lab creates virtual spaces for training mining employees;
- IrisVR creates 3D object modeling tools;
- Autodesk successfully uses virtual reality in real estate.
Despite such successful stories of virtual reality application in serious spheres, development of VR games still dominates.
Virtual reality development: mobile devices and glasses (helmets)
The two main directions of VR is the development of applications for mobile phones, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets, as well as for specialized glasses and helmets virtual reality. Applications for mobile phones are created easier and faster, while virtual reality for glasses and helmets requires a lot of work.
How much can I earn from developing VR applications?
Creating a virtual reality can yield excellent results in the form of a large income, even when converting tasks of creating applications to outsourcing. Despite the development of the industry in general, the market is flooded with unfinished content. To get a good profit, you just need to create a quality application that will be in demand among users. For example, a good game for VR makes a profit up to half a million dollars a month.
If you choose a niche entertainment – games, you should think in advance about how to monetize the application. The most common options – attracting advertisers, partners, information about which will be unobtrusively presented to users, or banal donation (buying game improvements for money). In the conquest of serious areas you can try to sell highly specialized content to a large company or to develop VR-applications to order.
Which is better: to learn for yourself or to transfer the development to specialists?
If you plan to start development for Oculus Rift or mobile, you need to decide who will do most of the work. You can learn how to create virtual worlds yourself, but it will take a long time. Going to specialists will save it, but it will require financial injections.
The pros and cons of self-study VR
Developing VR can provide you with a good income (of course, if your knowledge is sufficient to create quality content). Self-study is now more than available: all content is freely available and the Cardboard application will not take much money away from you.
You’ll need to spend a lot of time learning all the basics of development.
There are three ways to go:
- Get into a specialised institution;
- take part in courses from well-known companies;
- learn development on your own from materials on a global network.
The main advantages of hiring specialists for VR development:
- saving time. One experienced developer or team will do everything much faster than a novice master;
- big choice. There are many companies and freelancers offering their services;
- a guarantee of the result (when drawing up a formal contract).
How to learn how to develop AR and VR by yourself?
AR is an augmented reality: in it, objects created by technical means are superimposed on a picture that the user sees through a smartphone camera or glasses (helmet). This industry is as promising as the virtual reality sphere.
Regardless of the platform you choose, the learning algorithm will be approximately the same. To start with, you should learn C++ or C# programming languages (preferably both). Without them, you will not be able to create the basis of virtual reality – scripts, programs, etc. To learn programming languages you need from 1 to 5 years, depending on your abilities and desire.
You can use online training in any company, as there is almost no complete information on programming from “A” to “Z” on the Internet. The best options are Coursera lessons or Udemy courses.
The second step is to learn the SDK: Unity or Unreal (the first is easier to work with). These engines themselves produce training lessons for users, so you can quickly learn the basics, and then by trial and error to learn the subtleties.
The choice will depend only on your preferences, but again, it is desirable to be able to work on two platforms simultaneously.
Then you can move on to a more advanced Microsoft course: it deals with virtual and augmented reality creation. The whole course consists of ten modules that can be mastered in six months.
In independent study of creation of applications for additional or virtual reality it is important to keep up with new trends. There is no need to learn from old materials: spending time on their development, you can hopelessly fall behind the industry.
Virtual Reality Tools
Development of VR and AR applications is impossible without different tools. If you are making a small application that does not require special effects and a specialized interface, it makes no sense to create your own custom engine. You can use the most popular and proven engines already mentioned above.
Competent development and promotion of VR applications
Development of virtual reality applications is a complex process in which the technical side is of great importance. But the basis – the idea and the ways to implement it – also have a big impact on the promotion of your child. Before you start development, make a clear algorithm for action.
Get ready for constant work on the application: in order to retain users and attract new “customers”, you will have to constantly update the application based on feedback. Only periodic improvements to VR will help you achieve high returns.
Developing a VR application is a high potential activity that can yield great dividends. You’ll need to spend enough time and effort to create the first virtual reality, but with each subsequent project you’ll sharpen your skills.