Why is virtual reality important to the metaverse?


Virtual reality (VR) technology is front and centre to Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse plans. The CEO of Facebook-owner Meta has made it clear that the next stage of the revolution of the internet will involve more digital escapism than ever before.

However, the Zuck is hardly alone in championing the advent of the VR paradigm shift. Indeed, technophiles have evangelised the coming of the new VR age for decades. VR has a long history, dating back to 1956. This was when one of the early VR systems, Sensorama was created.

The term VR was popularised in the 1980s and tech bros have awaited the introduction of a techscape akin to that envisioned in Ready Player One ever since.

Yet despite those endorsements, mass-adaptation has so far eluded the VR industry. This could be about to change.

The global VR market will be worth $51bn by 2030, a significant rise from an estimated $5bn in 2020, according to forecasts from GlobalData. The research firm estimates that the VR market will expand at a 27% compound annual growth rate leading up to 2030.

What is behind this sudden surge? Where is the growth happening? And, come to think about it, what is VR?

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