For those who may be behind the technological curve, video streaming is transforming into experience streaming. Indeed, while it took quite a few years of development to get here, video streaming has been exploding these recent years. One of the most dominant mediums in existence, according to statistics, 80% of internet traffic is video related. With AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) growing strong, this industry is due for some major change. Sooner or later, AR and VR streaming will replace conventional video streaming. Instead of streaming videos, we will stream experiences. That said, let's take a look at how VR will create an entirely new experience for the world moving forward.
The Future of VR
No matter how one feels about this new age technology, AR/VR streaming will positively impact several vital aspects of life. Some of the most prominent and immediate areas that will be affected are as follows:
• Transportation: Presently, most people feel they need to leave their homes in order to be truly entertained. However, with the widespread use of AR and VR, people could receive education, attend meetings, concerts, watch movies with cinematic experience from home. This means the average person may travel far less in the near future.
• Commerce: Presently, the average person must leave their home in order to purchase many things. However, with the use of AR/VR people could do things such as try on clothes, walk around a house, see the inside of a car that they intend to buy, etc. Once VR technology is more readily available, eCommerce will never be the same.
• Health Care: There may soon be no need to leave the home to even do things as important as visit the doctor. With the help of AR/VR, people could seek a professional diagnosis from home where the doctor is now able to "see" the patient in 360.
• Gaming- One of the most used methods of entertainment, new inventions including AR/VR in the video gaming realm will totally change the way people play video games forever. Rather than staring at a story unfold on screen, users will one day be able to fully emerse themselves in the video game experience.
Although the future of AR/VR is exciting, AR/VR is still not likely to become mainstream in at least the next 3 years, for the following reasons.
• Internet capability: Imagine that VR or a 360 video is actually made of tens or even hundreds of "flat" videos put together to make a globe where the viewer is inside. In that sense, streaming a 360 video is like streaming a lot of "flat" videos at the same time. Currently, the Internet allows conventional users to stream up to 4K or even 8K videos, but not 30 of them at the same time. Eventually, 5G will fix this problem but it'll take a couple of years for 5G to populate the world.
• Platform and Devices: There are fragmented platforms for developers to develop AR/VR apps up on. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Magic Leaps and a handful of other companies are offering their own platform. However, it is still nowhere near how easy you could develop iOS and Android apps. As far as devices are concerned, there is no considerable consumer grade device yet. Most are either too chunky or flat-out unaffordable.
• Readiness of Consumers: Although AR and VR have been around for quite some time, they are still relatively new to most people. It will take more time for users to incorporate AR/VR into their daily routine, just as they adopted items such as smartphones in the past.
Over the next 5 years, the world will witness a significant impact from the AR and VR realms. For AR and VR to be streamable (or live streaming even), much work needs to be done with the streaming technology such as codecs, storage, infrastructure optimization. At Uiza, we research and develop technologies to serve current streaming needs but we're welcoming to the use of technology from AR/VR streaming. Stay tuned for more updates on AR and VR.