In March 2016, the establishment of VR officially was marked, with the launch of the Oculus Rift. I do remember when I first read / heard / saw the Rift, I was amazed at the possibility of what VR could turn into. Up until that point VR was a very abstract, niche concept with a not a lot of mainstream following.
Five years on, Facebook has been looking back on the journey that has taken place since 2016. The have drawn up a great infographic that really showcases the journey from the Rift, to the Oculus Go, Rift S, Quest and now the Quest 2.
But what about the next 5 years?
Not all the possible use cases of VR have been cracked.
While the recent hype and momentum around the Quest 2 being an inflection point is true, there are more pivots and leaps forward yet to come - more advanced tech, bigger experiences and better storytelling, and more widespread use of VR into business and the real world.
- Advancement in hardware – VR consoles across all brands have advanced to phenomenal lengths and is sure to rocked again with the apple announcement and launch of their VR equivalent. However, some VR consoles are still reliant on tethering or virtual desktop-ing to a PCVR to get the next level of VR gaming – the next 5 years will hopefully see a VR console powerful enough to let go of the PC and get rid of the tether.
- Experiences and storytelling – The past five years there have been advances in storytelling techniques in VR as developers better understand the interplay between software and hardware – improvements in this space will better connect users to their characters, their virtual environment (and hopefully other users in the same “space”) and enable us to have better experiences within the confines of our limited living rooms spaces.
- Widespread use into everyday life – VR consoles have been largely associated to gaming and fitness to a degree. But there have been a few (but far between) other use-cases in sporting viewership (NFL and NBA), architecture, 3D design, healthcare treatment and virtualisation within the office. As access to VR consoles become easier and more affordable, hopefully we see more wider spread of VR in everyday life rather than as an afterthought.
Regardless of where and how the advances come from - either Oculus / Facebook, HTC, Sony or Apple, the VR industry is sure to be a rapidly growing space. More launches like the Quest 2 will only make sure that there is a burning platform on the revolutionary capabilities of VR and what it can bring to everyday life.
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