Report highlights growth of VR and a lack of women in IT roles

Business, Technology | Wed 13 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
virtual reality Maurizio Pesce

Virtual reality (VR) will have its first billion dollar year in 2016, with €645m in hardware sales and content, according to a report by Deloitte Global.

The report estimates sales of about 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies. Additionally, the report expects the majority of spending on VR to be by core users rather than casual gamers.

“While in 2016 virtual reality is expected to reach a major milestone – becoming a one billion dollar market – in the long term VR is likely to struggle to reach the scale or ubiquity of the smartphone, PC or the television set,” said Richard Howard, head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Deloitte Ireland.

“However, as the technology required to provide a total immersive experience improves, wider global adoption may ensue. “We are seeing significant growth potential in cognitive technologies, such as computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning. While cognitive technologies may get less immediate attention from consumers than new virtual headsets, it is likely to be much more important over the long run for the enterprise and for consumers alike.”

By the end of 2016 fewer than 25% of IT jobs in developed countries are expected to be held by women.

Howard commented: “According to the Central Statistics Office less than 25% of STEM jobs are filled by women in Ireland. This is broadly in line with this global prediction, and highlights that Ireland is not alone in its need to redress this imbalance. However, given the importance of not just the technology industry to Ireland’s economy, but also the requirement of strong and adequate IT skills in a wide range of industries – from financial services, to consumer business and beyond, this is an issue that needs to be addressed both quickly and effectively.”

Now in its 15th year, Deloitte Global’s annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide.

Photo: Maurizio Pesce