Technology

An Analysis of VR and ARTenders in India

Virtual Reality (VR) fully immerses users in computer-generated environments, isolating them from the real world using devices like VR headsets. Augmented Reality (AR) enhances the real world by overlaying digital information onto it, often through smartphones or AR glasses. VR creates simulated experiences, while AR supplements reality with digital elements. VR is commonly used for gaming and simulations, while AR finds applications in navigation, education, and industrial training. Both technologies redefine how we engage with digital content and our surroundings.

While it’s commonly assumed that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are exclusively pursued by the private sector like Meta’s Oculus and Microsoft’s HoloLens, This analysis shows that government agencies in India actively participate in procurements of VR and AR technologies. For instance, these agencies release tenders to acquire VR and AR solutions across education, defense, healthcare, emergency services, and urban planning. Tenders are issued to reshape learning experiences, improve classroom engagement, ensure personnel readiness, and enhance citizen engagement. These tenders underscore the government’s focus on leveraging VR and AR for the betterment of education, public services, and various sectors by seeking cutting-edge solutions through competitive processes.

According to information compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, Indian government agencies have collectively released 357 tenders for VR and AR technologies in the past 12 months (October 2022 – October 2023). Maharashtra takes the lead with 55 tenders, accounting for approximately 14% of the total, closely followed by Delhi with 43 tenders. The VR and AR tenders are advertised in multiple sectors of the government including police and defense, education and sports, industry, power, and urban development. A further sector-wise breakdown of virtual reality and augmented reality tenders is provided below.

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In India, several government police and defense agencies, including the Indian Army, acquire tenders for various VR technologies like VR-OP Training Simulator, Oculus Quest VR Headset, mixed reality headgear, chetak aircraft virtual reality mission simulator, and Visual Reality Kit for Training. These acquisitions are to enhance advanced training simulations, mission planning, medical training, and situational awareness, ultimately improving readiness and operational effectiveness on the battlefield. Tenders from the Department of Defence cover Oculus Rift and Visual Training Aid for Tech Training Lab, Ministry of Defence issued AR/VR Application Development, and Department of Defence Production published tenders for HTC VIVO PRO 2 FULL Kit. The Central Armed Police Forces for tenders related to Remote Virtual Browser for Internet Isolation, and the Military Engineer Services released Animated 3D Video Presentation for UAV. Among the 357 tenders advertised in the last year, 82 (22.96%) were specifically published by the police and defense sector.

Apart from the defense sector, the education sector was a prominent buyer for VR and AR technologies. For instance, the Department of School Education published tenders for Standalone VR Devices with controllers and Virtual Reality (VR) classroom setup, and the Himachal Pradesh School Education Society seeks tenders for the establishment of a Virtual Reality (VR) Lab. Higher education institutions like the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli issue tenders for the Supply of Haptic Device – Data Glove and the Supply and Installation of AR Headset & VR Headsets. Additionally, Agriculture University Kota invites tenders for the Creation of a Virtual Tour for the Agriculture Education Museum, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences advertises tenders for a Anatomage Virtual Dissection. Out of the 357 tenders published in the last year, 79 (22.12%) originated from the education sector.

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Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited released tenders for Virtual Machine (Compute) in the industrial sector. The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research issued tenders for a Virtual reality based training tool for radioactive, safety and surveillance using VR set up and a Virtual Controller. Indian Oil Corporation Limited invited tenders for the deployment of an AR/VR-based safety training module system. Additionally, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited published tenders for development of modules using Augmented Reality. 

Telecommunications Consultants India Limited has issued tenders to install virtual classroom equipment and establish virtual reality labs in schools & science centers to utilizing virtual reality for educational purposes, research and development, and other innovative applications within the telecom sector. Similarly, Indian Telephone Industries Limited has released tenders for the engagement of an interactive virtual learning development agency and related services, indicating a focus on incorporating virtual learning solutions and interactive technologies.

Tenders for virtual reality (VR) technology in rural development aim to drive positive changes in rural areas. The Local Self Government Department in Kerala and the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj have both issued tenders related to augmented/virtual reality and VR headset procurement.

A few other entities such as Epublish, have released tenders for multi-skill virtual reality training equipment and virtual reality therapy equipment. The Department of Science and Technology has issued tenders for virtual reality glasses, while the Labor and Employment Department invited tenders for a virtual reality welding simulator. The Education Department in Delhi has put out tenders for a virtual rehabilitation unit, and Dr. S.N. Medical College in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, published tenders for a 3d virtual dissection table and accessories with site development work.

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As of January 2nd, 2024, there are currently 28 active tenders for virtual reality and augmented reality. Among these, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Delhi lead with 4 tenders each, amounting to 20% individually, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, which share 2 tenders each, collectively constituting 10%. This distribution of live tenders highlights a widespread demand for virtual reality and augmented reality across various regions in India.

This analysis highlights a significant interest in VR and AR technologies within government entities and PSUs across multiple sectors in India. These technologies, known for their transformative potential, are finding applications in various industries. The ongoing evolution of hardware like VR headsets and AR glasses, alongside continuous software improvements, underscores the dynamic nature of these technologies. The growing demand, combined with technological progress, underscores the government’s focus on localized manufacturing. VR and AR technology manufacturers and consultants should keep an eye on VR tenders and actively participate in them.

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