Growing Appeal of Virtual Reality to Create Lucrative Opportunities for 3D Imaging Technology

With the advent of inexpensive processors and high performance imagers, a large number of industries have recognized the benefits of adopting 3D imaging technology. 3D imaging is being adopted across industry verticals for better visualization and enhanced imaging. This technology is widely adopted in the medical sector for augmented patient diagnosis. This is encouraging market players to develop advanced imaging solutions that meet the specific requirements of the healthcare industry. The media and entertainment, automotive, and defense sectors are also making extensive use of 3D imaging systems, thus driving their demand. 3D imaging systems are also being used for civil engineering applications for creating models of buildings.

According to a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global 3D imaging market is expected to expand at a 26.8% CAGR over the period between 2015 and 2021, rising from a valuation of US$3.51 bn in 2014 to US$17.99 bn by 2021.

Q. How are different industries benefitting from the adoption of 3D imaging?

The 3D imaging technology is being used in modern industrial applications to enable automated inspection. 3D imaging systems enhance factory safety and enable automation of truck loading by empowering the machine vision through depth perception. These systems are can also be used for guiding and controlling robotic systems in better ways, allowing a better interaction between human workers and robots, thus ensuring enhanced worker safety.

The implementation of the 3D technology has brought a revolution in the medical sector. The ultrasound segment in the medical industry has benefitted the most from the deployment of this technology. The 3D technology helps in the capturing of real time 3D image of organs. Oncology, gynecology, dentistry, orthopedics, and cardiology are the application areas of this technology.  


In the entertainment industry, 3D imaging is used for 3D gaming and animation. This technology is currently increasingly used in movies. All these factors are expected to fuel the demand for 3D imaging in the coming years.

Q. What are the challenges faced by the 3D imaging market?

One of the major difficulties encountered with the adoption of 3D imaging technology is its complexity. 3D imaging systems definitely provide more data as compared to 2D systems, but these data are a lot more complicated. Interpreting the large pool of data produced by 3D imaging systems can be a huge problem. The calibration of 3D imaging systems and the precise illumination required for capturing an image are some of the problems with these systems. High cost is another factor negatively affecting their demand.


Q. Elaborate upon the opportunities of growth in the 3D imaging market.

The growing appeal of virtual reality is offering huge potential for the 3D imaging technology. The modern day virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences of smell, touch, hearing, and sight. Key players in the field of virtual reality have developed technologically advanced products for customers. For instance, Apple has filed a patent for a virtual reality headset, designed to use the iPhone as a processing unit. Technologies such as Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift headsets are also trying to bring virtual reality to the mass market. Moreover, companies are attempting to capture 3D content for virtual reality from the real, existing world. A case in point would be Marriott Hotels. This technology is being used by Marriott for giving people tours of distant destinations. 

All these factors offer growth opportunities for the global 3D imaging market. 

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