Virtual reality is all over the news these days. Whether it’s the incredible $2 billion acquisition of VR company Oculus by Facebook, the recent release of the PS4 Pro with Playstation VR, or even a virtual reality solution as simple as Google’s Cardboard, virtual reality seems to be innovating at a rapid pace every day.
And there’s a reason for that – virtual reality could be the future of gaming and entertainment, completely revolutionizing the world of technology.
In the past, this claim has been made – but as the failure of virtual reality implementations like Nintendo’s much maligned Virtual Boy proved, the technology just wasn’t there yet.
But the world has changed since then. Today, powerful computer processors, graphics processors, and advanced display technology have helped alleviate some of the problems that have plagued virtual reality headsets of the past – and the future looks bright for these high-tech headsets.
Let’s take a look at the 4 reasons virtual reality is here to stay – and could be the future of gaming and entertainment.
- Virtual Reality Is More Immersive
It’s one thing to sit in front of your TV and play a videogame, or go to a movie theater and take in an IMAX film, but true virtual reality is something else entirely. While two-dimensional visual experiences can provide some degree of immersion, the immersion is incomplete. If you just turn your head, you’ll be able to see that you’re still in the real world.
Virtual reality is just that – virtual reality. When you place a virtual reality headset on your face, put in headphones, and actually feel yourself entering a different world, where you can look around and interact with objects that aren’t even real – it’s a completely different experience.
The best analogy here would involve a swimming pool.
Imagine you’re sitting on the deck of a swimming pool – but you can’t get in and swim. There are a lot of other people in the swimming pool, and they’re having a great time! And you’re having fun watching them. But wouldn’t it be more fun to be in the pool?
Virtual reality doesn’t just let you get in the pool – it allows you to plunge in face-first. And the total immersion that VR provides is unprecedented in the history of entertainment.
- Virtual Reality Could Change The Way We Interact With One Another
Imagine a social network that’s not just confined to your computer, your tablet, or your phone. Imagine another world – one where you could spend time with those close to you, attend meetings, or even meet new people in a new, virtual environment.
The future of social media and business softwares certainly seems to trend towards VR – it’s no coincidence that Facebook has become such a driving force in the industry after purchasing Oculus.
The recent innovation of the “Facebook Live” streaming video feature also seems to point in this direction – imagine the immediacy of a live video combined with a virtual reality experience.
You would be able to truly put yourself in the shoes of another – something that has never before been done in the world of social media.
- Virtual Reality Could Allow For Faster, Easier Learning
Virtual reality isn’t just about escapism – virtual reality could be an incredibly helpful tool in education, allowing students to obtain hands-on-experience doing just about anything – without leaving the classroom.
Imagine a student in a social studies class being transported to another world – India, Portugal, Spain, France. Being able to see the sights as if they were truly there, to experience the culture, to see, touch, and understand the environment first-hand?
Military and industrial applications are certainly imminent as well – mechanics can learn about exotic airplane maintenance, soldiers can simulate combat more realistically, and pilots and astronauts can experience more realistic flight simulations.
- Virtual Reality Is Getting Cheaper
High cost has always been a problem when it comes to the world of virtual reality. The first Oculus development kits cost nearly $1,500 – an absolutely enormous sum, especially when you consider that you would need a PC of at least equal value in order to even use it.
However, the cost of VR – like all cutting-edge technology – has been following. The consumer version of the Oculus Rift was only $599, and a Playstation VR headset will only cost you $399 – and you’ll already have the hardware you need to use it if you own a Playstation 4.
Virtual Reality Is The Future
As virtual reality continues to fall in cost, we will certainly see more widespread adoption of this cutting-edge technology. Not just in tech, gaming, and entertainment, but in educational, training, and even social applications.
The possibilities for a seamless, low-cost VR system that offers true total immersion are endless, and it will certainly be interesting to see how this market continues to grow and develop in the months and years to come.