VR 101: So, what is this ‘virtual reality’ thing everyone is talking about?

image1-5

It is the year 2016 and virtual reality is now full mainstream… Or is it? For a while now there’s been some crazed virtual reality enthusiasts, but is it really mainstream? It’s accessible, but not mainstream. (Yet.)

When I was a child in the 90s, there was something called a Virtual Boy by Nintendo. It was a stand that had a headset that you would lean into. Needless to say, a quick search on YouTube would convince you that the technology wasn’t ready.

Why should we care about virtual reality?

Imagine being able to go anywhere in the world without having to leave your chair. Or being inside an apartment that a real estate developer hasn’t even built. Imagine being able to interact with aliens, entire works of fiction… How about seeing the other side of another person’s story? What about making video games physical and incorporating a little bit of cardio? This is the potential of virtual reality.

Like with all technologies, we are seeing developments from video game developers and pornographic content studios – the two industries that will get the best of the best in technology first.

But once virtual reality blossoms, I hope to see applications in education, therapy, rehabilitation and treatment.

Where are we at with consumer virtual reality technology?

Today, we currently have the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with room-scale, meaning you are able to walk around and interact with a virtual environment. We also have mobile VR with Google Cardboard (soon Google Daydream), and Oculus content on the Samsung Gear VR.

I’m interested how this will pan out.