Virtual reality has been discussed numerous times in the past, but typically it was either a half-baked form, or it was only shown in science fiction films. In 2017, we have perhaps the best argument for VR that we’ve ever had. While the primary uses of VR are within the world of gaming, this new technology has far-reaching implications.
While there are plenty of naysayers who claim that VR is a trend or a fad, they typically tend to be the same people who have never actually tried it in person. Even if you have played VR, and you’re still not sure, join us as we look at the mounting evidence that this is the way of the future.
Why Virtual Reality is Here to Stay
While I’ve only had significant time with Samsung Gear VR and PlayStation VR, I’ve walked away with a profound feeling that this is how we will experience entertainment in the future. More than that, I believe it will find its footing in other markets as well and find mainstream support in that space.
Here are my top reasons why VR is here to stay:
VR Offers New Innovations And Opportunities
My top reason, is that VR stretches far beyond a new way to experience and enjoy video games. For example, it can be used to change traditional narrative experiences, and allow people to experience stories and history in new and exciting ways.
For example, The British Museum held a VR exhibit in 2015 where they could explore a Bronze Age house and see virtual representations of items the museum had in its collection. NASA has also used VR before to give people a glimpse of what it’s like to be in spacecraft.
Real estate agencies and hotels have also used VR to create virtual tours of their spaces. They can utilize this to turn any room into a showroom and cut down on travel costs. Bringing things back around to entertainment, VR can also be used to watch films and is being considered by makers like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott.
More examples include medical applications, military options, and plenty more. Case and point: VR will find a mainstream home somewhere, even if gaming isn’t the place.
VR is Drawing in Major Brands (And Major Funding)
A recent study found that Nielsen 24% of consumers in the US will likely use or purchase a VR headset in the next year. YouTube and Facebook have also both shown major interest in the technology. Currently, sales numbers are fairly strong, especially with PlayStation VR, which is one of the less expensive VR options.
These numbers represent early adopters, but they’ve also led to major investments from big brands that seem to believe VR is a good investment. For example, Facebook purchased the VR company Oculus Rift for a whopping $2 billion!
Meanwhile, YouTube and Google have embraced 360-degree video and Google Cardboard to provide VR experiences that simply require a mobile phone. This was followed by the release of Google’s Daydream VR headset which is a more nuanced option than the cardboard choice.
So we have Google, we have Samsung, we have YouTube, and Sony, Microsoft, and more being added every day. In the first half of 2016, venture capital firms invested $1.3 billion into 76 different VR/AR deals.
Which brings us to the other side of the VR coin: AR. Known as augmented reality, this is a different type of experience that brings things into your world and displays them in front of you. One of the premiere startups working on this is Magic Leap, which is famous for having several billion dollars of funding into a product they have yet to reveal to the world.
Just about every major tech company has stock in them, which proves that they are clearly cooking up something amazing. It also shows that interest isn’t going anywhere for this kind of tech.
Virtual reality is an incredible technology, and it’s bringing all kinds of new things to the table. Together with its cousin, augmented reality, we have a technology that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Have you experienced this kind of tech? Let us know in the comments!