Virtual Reality is finally here…again. Let’s decode the world of VR and see what it really has to offer.
VR was the tech world’s inescapable buzz last year. Let’s be honest, VR isn’t new — it’s actually been around for decades as a technology concept aligned with “the future.” It’s only been in the last few years that a push for independent development and experimentation has begun.
Some say that Oculus helped spark this push by raising 2.5 million dollars on Kickstarter in 2012. This led to Facebook acquiring Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion dollars. Since that purchase, the tech world really started to see VR as an avenue worth investing in and pursuing. Soon existing companies, such as Sony and HTC, were jumping into the VR industry, producing their own takes on the technology. The rush to create something using the new hardware was similar to when mobile phones opened the door to apps and games.
So what’s the big deal? Is the hype for real? Is VR here to stay and become a new standard of entertainment? Or, will it go the way of 3D TV’s?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is likely to invest more than $3 billion in VR over the next decade. His goal is to bring the VR platform to hundreds of millions of users. One thing is for sure, VR is not going away anytime soon.
How VR could affect us all?
Over the next few months, I will turn myself into a virtual guinea pig by diving into all the different types of VR hardware and software experiences. As a result, I’ll be writing a series of posts to address questions like:
- Why should the creative industry care about VR? Will it become a platform that will be easy to develop content for? Can we use a true 3D space to bridge the gap between consumers and companies?
- What could it offer beyond making fancy games? The VR gaming experience has proven to be more immersive than traditional video games. With that, it opens the potential for navigating other 3D applications, like re-imaging historical spaces, building out architectural developments and even dissecting replications of living organisms.
- What are the effects of VR on the user? So far, the technology is being embraced by the public, but it’s often being used in different ways than the developers intended. According to some critics, this has the potential to impact the user both positively and negatively. Yet, could the VR experience help people suffering from certain ailments, both physical and psychological?
A brief history of the units that have paved the way over time, as well the front runners.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
Creating an experience
Part of this blog series, beyond just my assessment of the various platforms, will be the actual creation of a my own VR experience. I am doing this not only for my own creative fulfillment but also to help shed a new perspective on how other creatives can use the tech to innovate. As a result, I will be assessing the various software platforms (ex. Unity and Unreal) from a developer’s standpoint.
To recap, this is the first of a five part series that will explore the world of VR and all that it has to offer. I hope to learn more about this movement, create my own content and share it all with you. My goal is to understand what VR really means for the creative industry and discover how we can all use this tool to solve problems for clients and ourselves. Perhaps, this will help you think from a new perspective on your projects or help maximize what VR could do for your company. Let the games begin!