Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop… Virtual Reality
You may or may not have noticed, but never the less, this is the week it all begins. When our robot future selves look back and question themselves how they ended up levitating and teleporting here and there or being able to communicate through telepathic nerve waves. Their optical senses will be replaced by infrared and heat sensing technology, they will think back on March 28, 2016: the exact day that Facebook’s very own Rift by Oculus was officially released to consumers.
The above is probably highly doubtful. But if you spend enough time browsing or chatting about VR, it can feel like that. There is a feeble, big eyed area within the tech industry right now because an idea which has wandered into the universe for three decades is finally becoming viable.
Tech gurus are telling us that millions of people will soon be implementing VR to view movies and being able to share them on media spaces, they can learn how to do new things and even treat mental disabilities. Goldman Sachs even believes the VR market will be estimated at a worth of just under 100 billion within the next ten or eleven years. On another note Jesse Schell who is a rather blunt game designer thinks that the technology will be blamed for at least one murder within the next year and have about two and a half million users by 2023.
With all things of course there are down fall and one of them is the cost in this case. Top grade headsets like the Rift or the HTC’s Vive will land around $600 or more and will demand a rather powerful gaming grade computer. You can expect that to rip an extra grand from your pocket book. Many of the VR developers own such computers already, but what does that say about us as general people? How many of us have those types of computers? More economic sets like Samsung’s Gear VR, which uses a limited processor similar to that of a smartphone, will more than likely spread quicker.
Another is getting the proper people to put forth the needed monetary resources. Question any VR people, where they get their revenue from and you’ll indefinitely find that it’s venture capitalists and angel investors and not general consumers. Game companies, tech companies, and theme park designers are absolutely swamping the VR economy with money, and everyone is racing to catch it, to the extent that projects and plans which primarily had nothing to do with VR get redirected to include it. It’s a little on the extreme side of “if you build it, they will come”. Which is okay, as long as they do eventually come.
Then we have to deal with the mental components. VR designers are, like us, science fiction geeks, who grew up day dreaming of a total escape into some sort of space adventure or new reality. For them and many others, this technology is the fulfillment of a long held dream come true. Coincidentally, the tech industry is haunted and stalked by a folk like horror of the ‘one that got away’: get these people around a bonfire and their horror stories end with “that company was yahoo!” The possibilities here are endless as long as we tread softly.