Virtual Reality Developments
This Wall Street Journal article on how McDonald’s has aligned its happy meal box with Virtual Reality (VR) is just one of many indicators that VR technology is rapidly incorporating itself into our everyday lives. With tech giants like Facebook, Google and Sony investing significant time and resources into the development of VR technology, it seems like VR is more than just a passing fad for gamers.
For the uninitiated, VR technology allows users to immerse themselves in a virtual world with a 360 degree view and the possibility of interaction. This usually comes in the form of headsets which have evolved from bulky, expensive models to relatively cheaper and sleeker models such as the Oculus Rift going for US$600 in March.
Even as the VR industry emerges from its nascent stages, this recent article by Newsweek states “VR will be a $5.1 billion industry this year, up from just $660 million in 2015.” However, the very nature of this industry means that its long term success hinges on the quality of content which will draw people into the realm of VR. As one TechInAsia article pointed out, “There is so little premium content out there, mostly either Documentaries or Horror.” It will definitely take time for both content producers to produce great content, as well as for consumers to get comfortable with the concept of VR.
On the other hand, almost everyone who has experienced the latest that VR has to offer had nothing but praise. The CEO of Rothenberg Ventures has said that “There are people who think its hype and then there’s people who have seen VR” while Robert Stromberg, an Oscar winning visual effects director, gave up his Hollywood aspirations to start his own VR company. With so much enthusiasm and the breakneck speed of innovation these days, it is not difficult to see development of VR technology and content growing at an exponential rate.
Content creation is also not limited to just the entertainment industry. There is foreseeable development of VR usage in fields such as education, medicine and the military. It does not take any stretch in imagination to envision VR providing realistic and safe training conditions for future surgeons and soldiers.
Thus, even as VR is just coming up to be the next big thing, we can expect to see more of its pervasive impact on our lives. It is as Mcdonald’s marketing director in Sweden so succinctly put it, “Our customers are so tech savvy. This is the world they live in”.