I’m definitely aboard the VR Bandwagon – and the possibilities are pretty huge… but it all requires saturation, and that’s going to take a bit of time.
The long bit:
When VR was first starting its mainstream debut, I thought it was nothing but a fad. I dismissed it as such, saying the graphics weren’t there, the hardware wasn’t ready, there were no actual use-cases, etc.
But a few years ago I got the chance to try out a headset and as soon as I did it really opened my eyes – and my mind – to the possibilities of the future.
When I first tried on that headset, I knew immediately this could shakeup the Theatre industry.
A 60-foot screen in every household? Movies on-demand without any advertisements? No rude tween moviegoers?? Plus unlimited popcorn from your own personal kitchen just a few feet away…?! If nothing else, I wanted one at least for that.
Aside from reducing the Hardware requirements and increasing comfortability, the next step will be to make that experience more social. Facebook/Oculus has already started on that stretch (a long with some smaller startups who developed products beforehand). It’s been a dream for my brother and I to be able to watch movies together despite being thousands of KMs apart, or in different countries altogether. Virtual Reality can actually make that happen. I enjoy watching movies with family and friends, I’d love to be able to do that remotely.
Over time, development tools will be added and that’s what will truly start the dot-com boom of the VR World… but more importantly, it plants the seed for a new universe to take hold, one that is Virtual in nature. One where anyone is able to create their own basic space with customizations, and connect it to the new Virtual Universe to share with others. As people improve their development and design trade skills, a natural market will develop for services, hosting space, infrastructure and technical plumbing.
I think when this happens, we’ll have a new information highway… A new form of data exchange built ontop of the Internet, and a new parallel universe of our own creation that mimics our own.
Because it opens up so many possibilities for sharing information, expressing ourselves, and finding Happiness.
Within my lifetime, I think people will be able to work from within VR… I know I want to work from within a VR-Verse…
Think of coding, or writing a book, beside a calm stream in a beautiful forest, or on the side of a mountain overlooking a fjord. Your office becomes anywhere you want it to be…
Content creators will be in dire need – photographers to capture the scenes people want, UI/UX Designers to build new interfaces for this VR Universe… even industries that are suffering today may find hope in a VR-Verse. Who will report the news? VR Journalists? It’s a quirky thought, but one that may just be within the grasp of virtual reality…
The social impacts, of course, are great as well.
Will most of the people in the early VR-Verse be AIs / Virtual Robots?
Just assistants to help guide humans along their new paths?
Will people become more reclusive in the “real” world and depend more on the VR World?
Or will it open people up to understand that humans elsewhere are still humans?
Questions that will be answered in due time I’m sure… but I do see hope in this area, especially around early therapeutic uses. Group therapy sessions could be extremely helpful in VR. Scenarios can be developed to help people overcome challenges.
Most of the VR scenarios rely on a very important thing: Saturation.
It requires a lot of content, it requires people, it will probably need seamlessly integrating spaces or worlds together.
It requires flexibility and social connections.
A VR-Verse is only as big as the community around it.
The social tech will be the glue that holds that universe together – without market saturation, or at least a large number of people building or connected on the platform, it will fall apart.
Baby steps are important here… The universe wasn’t built in a day…