Do you remember your first computer? This enormously big, slow and laud computing machine that was eating discs for breakfast and woke up the whole family while dialing to the Internet. Writing this article on my MacBook Air only a few years later, I wonder … Did we really get how extremely fast various platform evolve?
Well, I hope we did because there is a “new one” – known as VR | virtual reality coming and the speed of its recent progress is stunning. But let’s take it slowly, step by step …
Past and the Dark Age of Carboards
I intentionally put a new one in quotation marks since virtual reality has been around for quite a while. Actually, the first prototypes of functional headsets are dated back to 1968. For example, in the picture below you can see the Nasa Headset Ame’s from 1985. Despite the topic’s relative maturity, only in recent years, the real buzz has started to grow. You have every right to wonder – “if it’s so old why don’t we already live in the Ready Player One world?” The answer is both very complex and simple, the concept isn’t new, but the possibilities of technology are …
Have you ever tried Virtual Reality? If so, do you remember when did you try it? These are my usual questions when speaking about this topic with our clients. “Yes, I tried the mobile-based headset, how do you call it hmmm.. Yes, I got it! The Cardboard headset”. If you hear this you can be 100% sure that impression that your client has had is basically equal to playing the very first version of Prince of Persia computer game in 2019.
In order to attract masses, Virtual Reality tried to take a short-cut and introduce itself through the most affordable version – rudely cheap devices made out of cardboard or plastic – the most recognized piece in this category is definitely the one and only – Google Cardboard VR. These headsets promised to bring the VR experience right into customers’ hands. Well they didn’t, but we really cannot blame anyone, can we? In developed countries, where the smartphones penetration is high, this opportunity simply screams at you. It definitely brought its pros while introducing the topic but might have also hurt it a bit by failing users’ expectations. Imagine you see the Ready Player One movie and try a VR Cardboard experience on the very next day.
All is good though, we need to see this matter from the broader perspective. Cardboard experiment gave us all the most important answer– people are willing and want to explore Virtual Space!
Virtual Reality has been around for a while and yet we have only seen a tiny tip of the iceberg of all possibilities it might bring. Being blinded by the first initial disappointment, it might be logical for companies and users to assume the topic is simply dead or not moving fast enough to care. This is also quite logical, given the ongoing progress and importance of other areas like Blockchain and AI. These disruptive technologies took the spotlight and yet in the shadows a new platform is being truly born.
But what does this mean for the businesses and where are we standing right now? As Gartner Hype Cycle indicates, Virtual Reality has already enjoyed its hype peak and slowly prepares itself to a new age of realistic adaptation by the customers and businesses in estimated period 3 or 5 years. It simply means that it’s a high time to start exploring available XR initiatives relevant to your business.
Well, this is all cool but why the heck is mass adaptation taking so long?
Once again the answer is quite simple. Virtual Reality is fun but getting into VR is not. The customer has to jump over several barriers to have the real VR experience within the comfort of their living rooms. In order to have a better VR experience, you need to buy a VR headset (500$) and VR ready notebook or desktop computer (1500$). Not to mention that some of the latest headsets came with the cameras that have to be installed by a user all around the room. Only the true tech enthusiasts and early adaptors are willing to face the struggle but worry not – the future is bright!
What I love about the XR topic specifically, is that you can expect almost every month a new piece of information that might reshape the whole industry.
A great example might be the new Oculus Quest coming to shelves within the next months. Although the headset looks pretty much like its accentors there is one “important” thing missing – a wire. Oculus quest is about to kick-off a new era of wireless, affordable headsets with a higher standard of quality. We all know the saying that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but this might actually be a swallow, the damn whole XR scene is waiting for.
Why I believe in Virtual Reality and you should too
Virtual Reality is not here to stay… it’s here to disrupt and take over. Companies which realize this soon enough can gain an ultimate advantage over their competitors and greet their clients in the whole new world of endless possibilities.
The true reason why I believe in Virtual Reality, however, is its ultimate power to connect with ourselves on a whole new level and challenge how we perceive our everyday reality. I believe that VR has the ability to change our world to be a better place by giving people real superpowers, no matter how abstract this might sound at the moment. This belief serves as a solid foundation of our XR Studio Yord and represents the very center of our mission. This is by far the most important reason why I believe in virtual reality and you should too …