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By Dan Vermeire | Apr 06, 2016

ITIPG-Global WavesMedia, Technology & Telecom – The growing popularity of virtual reality (VR) systems such as Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and HTC’s Vive is creating demand for development of new 3D software. Shipments of virtual reality headsets are forecast to jump from just 140,000 in 2015 to 1.4 million in 2016 and up to 6.3 million in 2017, according to Gartner. Software for VR headsets primarily includes games and other consumer content for entertainment. However, an emerging opportunity comes from academic and business applications for training, simulation, and equipment troubleshooting. Examples include allowing medical students to explore human anatomy in 3D and helping companies attract potential customers through interactive product demos.

The latest generation of hybrid tablets is gaining traction within the enterprise market, driving demand for business software optimized for the higher-performance 2-in-1 devices. Enterprise software vendors were initially slow to move into the mobile realm because few corporate customers worked with early-generation tablets, InformationWeek reports. Meanwhile, consumer demand has fallen sharply as larger, faster smartphones cannibalize sales. Global tablet shipments fell 12.6% in the third quarter of 2015 compared to a year earlier, according to research by IDC. To break out of the slump, device makers are shifting their focus to high-powered tablets with detachable keyboards and more computing power, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Apple’s iPad Pro. These devices are more compatible with business-oriented apps like Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and they can also be more easily integrated with corporate enterprise systems — a key selling point for CIOs.

Industry Indicators

  • US retail sales for electronics and appliance stores, a potential measure of demand for computer software, decreased 5.4% in the first month of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
  • Total US revenue for computer systems design and related services rose 2.6% in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the previous year.

Posted by Dan Vermeire.

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