Consumer VR has been around for a very short amount of time. Oculus’ Rift development kits hit the market just a few years ago, and until now, the amount of people utilizing VR technology was incredibly small. Until the announcement and release of Google cardboard, public perception of virtual reality technology was nothing more than a proof of concept, working to bring the idea into reality. Though the last few months have been fantastically effective in bringing the technology into the public eye, the field is still something that is proving quite difficult to pin down.
The tech is still very much in it’s infancy, and we still haven’t even begun to grasp it’s full potential, or it’s limitations. What will the tech bring one, three, or six months in the future? Currently, developers are primarily utilizing the tech for gaming and realistic travel experiences, but we have seen the potential for use in the medial, education, and media industries. Whether or not we will be able to take advantage of these mediums in the hardware’s current form is still very much up in the air, especially because we really haven’t had it around long enough to understand it. Recently, Chris Jurney, head of developer relations at Oculus said something very similar. In an interview at Pax East, Jurney was quoted saying:
The most surprising thing to me is there’s still more stuff we don’t know..
He went on to comment about how that’s really not a bad thing, but rather an opportunity. Having such a new technology that hasn’t quite had it’s use case set in stone is actually kind of incredible, as it allows for the platform to develop whatever way the industry sees fit. Just as natural economics set the market price for products, so will the market develop the new tech.
Currently, the primary limitation hindering virtual reality is the motion sickness that can exist in some experiences. Even at 90Hz, some titles have features that create a very windy ride for many users. Oculus have even gone as far as labeling titles in the form of experience difficulty tiers, from low to extremely difficult. Even as our screen resolution and frame rendering capabilities increase, some people’s brains react differently to virtual reality experiences, and developers are attempting to figure out ways to make sure no one gets sick, testing the same software on many different subjects. Whether or not they will be able to perfect it has yet to be seen, but you can bet that they will try their best to makes sure that everyone gets an opportunity to see what VR can really do.
What do you think virtual reality is going to look like in the future? Will we understand it’s full potential?