The last 30-40 years have been characterized by booms in the tech industry. While I will contend that there have been more prominent events that have happened in the international sphere, Technology has defined the way we view those events and how we receive information about those events. Subsequently, we can assume that technology has been at least one of the most influential factors affecting our generation. First, there was the creation of the internet (the world wide web) which changed information sharing forever.
Next was the invention of the cellular phone/smartphone. Of course, cell phones had been around for awhile so what I mean by this is the invention of the cell phone that could do more than just call someone. All of the sudden people could do multiple things on the go that they otherwise would’ve had to do on a PC. Eventually you could access the internet from your phone and even play games on it.
At the same time, the world of video game consoles developed into having better graphics and more integrated systems. The same happened for T.V. Now, just like everything else that had a boom in modern-day society, we start see VR (virtual reality) get its turn. There have been experiments with VR for years now, going all the way back to 1968 with Ivan Sutherland’s work in fact. By 2016 more than 200 companies were developing products for VR. Among these companies are Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc.
I remember the first thing that introduced me to portable VR: the Oculus Gear VR headset created for android phones. The first time I experienced it I was amazed. I was amazed not only at the graphics but at how fluid it was and how easy it was to use. Of course, at the time of it’s arrival there weren’t that many applications for it. There were some programs that introduced you to the process and some mini games you could play and that was about it.
This was about 2 years ago when it came out in November of 2015. Now, they’ve partnered with Netflix, have several interactive games and and programs, you can even browse and pull up videos on websites that have options to view in a VR-ish setting.
Just like how people could not foresee the drastic effects that the internet has had on our society I feel that the future effects of VR technology are vastly underestimated by people today. As mentioned earlier Facebook has been working on different 3D posts that can be seen in VR.
If you haven’t seen those posts they include footage shot on a 360-degree camera and if you are using a smartphone you can turn your phone accordingly to see different content captured in the footage. Businesses are even starting to use VR for exhibits like in museums. This will allow them to save money on making different interactive exhibits, which can be incredibly complicated, and put it into VR which can offer virtually the same experience for a lower price. Eventually, tons of businesses will include VR not only for advertising purposes but also to sell as products.
All of this is very interesting, but most interesting of all is the impact, and limitless potential, that VR will have on the gaming community. We’ve all seen shows and cartoons explore the realm of a fully immersed virtual reality experience where the character might get in a pod of some sort, put on an incredibly futuristic helmet, and transport their conscious into a virtual world where they play some intricate video game.
We, in the real world, are not that far away from that vision. In the near future it is not unlikely that gaming consoles and PC will host a variety of games that incorporate VR. There might even be business that get created for the sole purpose of providing an immersive VR experience that you won’t be able to buy in stores.
In anycase, VR is the next technological boom that will have a hand in shaping modern-day society. Be on the watch as it shapes the way you interact with social media, the way you play video games, the way you interact with your PC, and more.