If virtual reality video was looking for a place to play, it just found it. The Google Daydream mobile platform has barely hit the shelves and is already expected to capture the VR video market. The list of VR content providers poised to offer VR content for Daydream is impressive, and includes Netflix VR, HBO VR, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, YouTube VR. And that’s just the short list.
Among the many features that make the Daydream attractive for the entertainment industry is its superior screen resolution — the Pixel XL has a resolution of 2560×1440, vs the Vive’s 2160×1200. Further, the Pixel’s chipset was designed for mobile VR, making it a superior platform for meeting.
But entertainment will not be the only driver of the VR video market. VR video, 360 video, and 3D video are rapidly proving their potential value to industries as diverse as architecture and medical training. As the markets for these video formats expand, compatible VR video player applications will increasingly be in demand.
In this article, we will look at the factors likely to drive both content and software applications for the Daydream Android platform. We also will see why developing VR video apps for Daydream can be the best business decision you make in 2017.
The Growing Market for VR/360/3D Video
Industry forecasts project the VR market to grow to $33.9 billion by 2022. While the potential for VR growth is the greatest of the three immersive video formats, opportunity for all three can be found across multiple sectors, including the following:
Movies and concerts will drive most of the non-gaming growth in VR, but that does not mean 360 video and 3D video cannot be used as entertainment mediums. In fact, production companies are already experimenting with 360 movies.
Real Estate and Tourism
VR and 360 videos are already being used by real estate let customers take virtual tours of properties before making an actual visit. VR tours benefit both real estate agent and customers by reserving on-site visits for properties that appeal to the customer.
Likewise, tourism companies are using VR and 360 video to allow customers to explore potential destinations before buying a ticket.
VR, 360, and 3D videos all lend themselves well to employee training. Hazardous industries, especially, can see significant cost savings, while greatly improving the quality of training. The most suitable video format is determined by the nature of the job.
Next to entertainment, education probably represents the greatest opportunity for immersive video of all formats. Through virtual reality video, medical students can observe medical procedures in near life-like reality, without having to wait to observe the procedure on a live patient. 360 and 3D lessons can allow students to experience subjects in far more detail than two-dimensional photographs. And archaeology students can be immersed into ancient archeological sites, rather than watching a flat movie.
Marketing, too, is a huge market for all three video formats. Whether VR, 360, or 3D, virtual advertisements can offer a much higher conversion rate than banners or flat video ads.
VR Video and Software Development Opportunities
We have seen the potential of immersive video to impact a broad scope of industries. But there is yet another opportunity that companies of all sizes can benefit from — dedicated VR players.
A number of VR players are available that are capable of rendering all three immersive video formats. However, companies need to think twice before using off-the-shelf players for distributing their VR content. Just as it makes sense for a company to use a custom and branded eCommerce solution or customer website portal, it makes sense to use a dedicated VR player. Not only can a custom VR video player be tailored to the specific needs of the company, but distributing immersive content to customers through a branded player is a mark of professionalism.
There are two approaches to VR player development. Let’s look at those now.
DIY Video Player Development
The do-it-yourself approach to VR player development is beyond the scope of this article, as every company has different requirements. However, the basic steps include:
Step 1: Download the software development kit (SDK) of your choice from the Google Daydream Developers web portal. Three SDKs are available: Android, Unity, and Unreal.
Step 2: Obtain a Daydream-compatible phone and a Daydream View. If you do not have access to a Daydream controller, you will need a second phone to use as an emulator. See Google’s specifications for the emulator phone.
Step 3: Setup and configure the SDK and Daydream according to Google’s instructions.
Step 4: Use Google’s extensive online resources to develop and compile your video player application.
Step 5: When you are done, test your player with Daydream.
Step 6: The means you use to deploy your video player will depend on how you plan to use it.
This procedure represents a basic outline of the process. Complete development of your video app will involve hundreds, if not thousands, of more-detailed steps.
Outsourcing VR Player Development
For most companies, the best solution for developing a custom VR player is to outsource the project to a development firm that has the resources to see the project from concept to completion.
The time and cost saved in hiring professional developers, generally, more than makes up for the expense and frustration of trying to develop such complex software in-house.
How AppReal-VR Can Help?
The number of Daydream users is projected to reach 40 million by 2018. This represents a new and untapped market for forward-thinking companies. But to reach them, you must connect with them through VR. If you don’t have expertise in virtual reality development and the latest VR technology, you are ill-prepared to meet the challenge.
AppReal-VR are specialists at mobile app development, and we innovate at the cutting edge of VR and AR technologies. If your company is ready to explore the possibilities, we invite you to contact us today.