Virtual reality (VR) creates an immersive experience that allows a person to simulate a space without physically being present in the actual location of the scene. VR can be applied in different realms such as for educational or entertainment purposes.
Before the 21st century, VR was mainly used for training purposes in the military, flight simulation, medical or automotive industry.
VR technologies became commercially available in the late 1990s with headsets being in the hands of consumers. In the early 2000s, VR took a turn away from hefty headsets to personal devices such as mobile phones and computers, with a notable breakthrough of Google Street View as one of the pioneers.
VR indeed does not always require a headset; however, the use of VR exploded in 2016 with the release of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as it entered the public mass market, in which it positively affected the market in Finland.
Finland is known for its excellence in engineering, education and entrepreneurship.
Small but dynamic companies
According to the Finnish Virtual Reality Association (FIVR), immersive technology companies are quite small in average with approximately 70% having less than 10 employees. Despite the size, these companies are developing quickly with the intent to fulfil the demand for VR technology.
Between 2015 and 2016, the combined revenue of Finnish immersive technology companies increased by 94% capping at €12.6 million.
Business Finland is the Finnish funding agency for innovation, who is a key player in keeping the VR sector booming in Finland. There are currently over 100 immersive technology companies in Finland, with the majority based in Helsinki and Tampere.
The dominant Finnish markets and industry sectors for the use of VR include aerospace, architecture/ engineering/construction (AEC), education, games, healthcare and maritime.
An immersive technology
These immersive technology companies thrive due to the developers’ passion, vision and acknowledgement of perfect timing. In this day and age, they realize the massive potential of virtual reality as a revolutionary tool in learning and training.
Companies of local to global magnitude are comprehending that people are visual learners and consumers. According to neuroscience research, 65% of the population are visual learners. For every market and industry, there is an opportunity to inform, teach and market with visual technology. The future is visual and VR amplifies it.
For recent news of VR in Finland, both FIVR and Virtual Reality Finland are associations that support the development of the VR ecosystem in Finland. It is an exciting time for the growth of VR technology, so be sure to fully immerse in the benefits that it has to offer!