Is Virtual Reality really happening or is it a gimmick for gamers? In The Pocket's VR expert explains why we are on the cusp of a major platform revolution.
For the past four years, VR was brought back onto the tech world stage by a perfect storm of mobile-driven innovative sensor and display hardware, amature 3D technology ecosystem and computing power.
Finally, technology is mature enough to convincingly support a user’s senses with a rich digital experience. Starting this year, it is in consumer’s hands in the form of highly polished and affordable hardware products like the Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR and HTC Vive.
How is the trend evolving?
Once inside your home, VR will start entering your office and establish itself as an app platform. Not only for gaming and entertainment consumption, but for communication, education, collaboration and exploration as well. The next few years, the hardware will get smaller and more invisible, as VR gradually merges into the real world through Mixed (or Augmented) Reality.
In the long run, VR and AR work towards a future where a person’s perception of the world can be digitally augmented, mediated, improved and enhanced. Anytime, anywhere. This is a very powerful idea which has far-reaching implications for the business world, the tech world and the world at large.
Today’s VR hardware is only the first important step in that direction, but smart teams are already realizing the promise of the medium with experiences and apps that excite, inspire and connect users.
Do's and don'ts
In short: join us in figuring out what works in VR and what doesn’t. The early days of VR look a lot like those of the mobile world:
- The market is young and the major players are still looking for their audience.
- The hardware capabilities are still changing rapidly.
- A lot of the innovation is coming from small teams willing to experiment.
If you want to get your feet wet in VR, we advise you to put a small multi- disciplinary team on it, today. Figure out how your product, service or marketing can work in a 360° immersive environment, where you have complete control over the user experience. Carefully consider issues of comfort and intuitive interactions. In some ways, VR today is still a solution in search of a problem.
If you can identify ways to add significant value to your product or service in the context of virtual reality, you will capture people’s attention for sure.
In the long run, start considering what the impact of ubiquitous augmented reality could one day be — on your product, or on the way your people work. Once you have a clear vision on what that may look like, consider prototyping or workshopping some directions with the technology available today.