3 Hot Industries Heralding the Future

This year’s NBA season opener celebrated the first anniversary of the league’s embracing of virtual reality, brought about by last year’s live VR broadcast of the opening game between the Warriors and Pelicans. This season, starting with the Kings’ home opener against the Spurs, the NBA and NextVR have committed to live streaming at least one NBA League Pass regular season game per week, marking the first time a major pro sports league has offered regularly-scheduled virtual reality broadcasts. The NBA’s embrace of virtual reality signifies the league’s recognition that VR is one of today’s hottest emerging markets, projected by IDC to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 181.3 percent over the next five years, from $5.2 billion in 2016 to $162 billion in 2020. Here are a few other hot industries that are poised for explosive growth over the next few years.

3-D Printing

The real-time counterpart of virtual reality is 3-D printing, projected by Markets and Markets to grow at a CAGR of 28.5 percent between 2016 and 2022 to reach a value of $30.19 billion. A number of factors are driving this increasing demand. Where 3-D printing was initially useful for creating product prototypes, the technology has now advanced to the point where manufacturers can use it to produce end-user products. Mass customization, enabling end users to order 3-D-printed customized products, is another driver. For instance, o-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber uses 3-D printing to create customized products for clients in any material, size or shape they want. Improvements in printing efficiency, the ability to print complex parts and government investment in 3-D printing are a few other factors driving the industry.

Demand for desktop 3-D printers by educational institutions for realistic modeling is expected to spill over into increased personal usage. Laser metal deposition will be the fastest growing segment of the 3-D market, with popular applications including mold tool surface repair, aero engine and military vehicle components, turbine blade coating and oil and gas drilling component surfacing.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has been making headlines for years, and its growth shows no signs of abating. Microsoft cloud products have enjoyed tremendous success, and by 2018 the company’s cloud offerings will account for 30 percent of its revenue, Morgan Stanley projects. Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services generated $7.88 billion in revenue in Q4 2015, a 69 percent increase compared with the previous year. Amazon’s cloud storage service has formed an alliance with VMware’s private cloud software and operating environment services in a move to seize market share from Microsoft.

VMWare also sees strong growth potential in China’s cloud market and has plans to triple or quadruple its Chinese presence by 2020. Cloud demand is also on the rise in Latin America, with Research and Markets forecasting 10.16 percent CAGR growth from 2016 to 2020. Globally, the healthcare industry cloud market will see tremendous growth, reaching $13 billion by 2023.

Renewable Energy

The growth potential for the renewable energy market is staggering, says AXIS Capital assistant vice president of renewable energy. $2.3 trillion has been invested in renewable energy since 2004 and in 2015 global investment in renewables was double that of coal- and gas-fired energy sources. Solar energy is the fastest-growing segment of the renewable market, with U.S. capacity exceeding 25 gigawatts in 2015 and positioned to add 16 gigawatts this year. Meanwhile, wind power reached 70 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2015 and is on track to generate one-fifth of America’s electricity by 2030.

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