In the wake of the approaching release of the Oculus Rift and other competitor VR headsets, companies from across the digital plane and beyond are preparing software for the new platform. Equipment like Gear VR is already available, which uses a Samsung Galaxy to power it. You clip in your phone, strap it to your face and stare at two screens, which are now very close to your eyes. Aspects of our lives from the travel industry to the sex industry will never be the same again.
The idea of VR is not new at all. Since the 1960s people have been locked into pixelated realms and looking more stupid than your whole family did when you first bought a Wii.
Much like 3D technology, the idea of a VR headset has been kicking around for a while. Avatar made the latest form of 3D popular, and now almost every Blockbuster has it as an option.
This kid is way too hipster for new 3D.
The same thing could be happening to VR headsets now. Part of the issue before was affordability. There wasn't a brand that managed to get a VR headset into the home as a staple item. The one that got the closest would be the Forte VFX1, released in 1994.
It cost $600, which is a lot of money, even by today's standards. It came with a CD-ROM, which contained a variety of games designed specifically for the headset. If you wanted to play other games, you needed to put in some hard work configuring the settings and getting it all to work properly. Quake was one of the best games to play outside of the selection which came with the headset. Unlike Doom, for example, you could look up and down.
Aside from the obvious aspect of video games that will be given yet another platform for development, one of the most interesting parts of life which VR will alter is the travel industry. Who doesn't enjoy clicking through Google Maps in random locations you haven't ever been to and probably never will? Now, you can do just that with the VR headset and feel more immersed than ever before (because you've strapped the screen to your face). There are other apps being developed that make for a much more enjoyable experience than just Google Maps though.
Imagine a livestream of someone with a GoPro on their head, walking around an area of the world everybody would love to travel to, but not everyone is able to get to. One person would travel for thousands who can't.
In a sense, people already do this by taking pictures and creating videos of their journeys around the world, but there seems to be something more personal in the idea of wearing a headset and participating at eye level in someone's journey live as it happens. You could even communicate with the traveller and ask them to look at certain things and interact with the environment as you would if you were there.
"Go and shit on that table!"
The fact that somebody's job could be to walk around the planet's (and beyond, sooner or later) most amazing travel destinations with a camera glued to their head is exciting. In case someone is hiring for that position, you know where to find me.
I am prepared for this job.
So in a world that is gearing itself evermore towards the virtual, there is a lot to think about with the approach of this new hyper-immersive technology. We can be sure that companies will be thinking far outside the box in terms of its uses, so how exactly the mass-consumption of a product like this will change our lives is hard to predict. If the right content is made and people do latch onto the idea, then whatever change is coming will be huge.