We hear the words “virtual reality” thrown around alot these days. From commercials about ostridges to your elderly neighbors saying that kids these days are socially introverted, untalented disgraces to the human race, virtual reality is a vibrant topic of discussion.
So what really is virtual reality?
Well, virtual reality is a three-dimensional, computer generated environment that is seemingly real and gives the user the ability to interact with it using electronic equipment. To put it simply, it is a large headset with a screen in it that makes you think you are somewhere you are not doing things you are not actually doing. (and makes you look absurd to the outside world in the process)
It is an idea foreign yet paradoxically familiar to us, such that we understand what the experience entails, but most people have never actually tried it.
I tried it very recently with a company called Stormborn Studios, and realized just how profitable and growing this entertainment actually is.
Virtual reality is considered to be the future of all entertainment mediums, and could perhaps be our next step into a more in-depth entertainment experience. Studying history, entertainment began as live music, then eventually radio for pre-recorded auditory stimulation, then silent movies for visual stimulation, and finally movies as we have come to understand them: ridiculous special effects and sound systems to appease our auditory and visual standards. Virtual reality could very well be humanity’s next step in stimulation: a type of entertainment that is able to capture audio and visual effects in the most real way and involving way possible. Movies as we understand them could effectively convert to placing the audience in an entirely new world created by the most advanced graphic designers. What more do people want when watching Avatar than to actually be in the jungle climbing and flying? Virtual reality finally gives us a chance to provide that.
The numbers do not lie either. According to the International Data Corporation, (IDC) the annual spending on VR/AR products and services is already at an absurd peak $11.4 billion, but is still expected to raise all the way to $215 billion in 2021. Meaning its compound annual growth (CAGR) will be 113.2% for the next 4 years.
Virtual reality headsets that already exist and are being actively worked on by popular corporations are:
- HTC Vive
- Samsung Gear
- Sony Playstation VR
- Oculus Rift VR (Oculus is owned by Facebook)
- Google Daydream
I know what you are about to ask, “Well, where is Apple on that list?”
The answer is a bit complicated. Apple is very well known for keeping things under wraps. They could have a totally completed virtual reality headset that the world has no idea about. Contrastly, they could be completely uninterested in the world of virtual reality. What we do know, however, is that they are working to improve iMacs and Macbooks to support the graphics and processing power required to run virtual reality games and software.
Most recently, the new iPhone supports Augmented Reality, which is a whole other topic that will be discussed in a different article. But, this does suggest that Apple could have something in the works.
The future of Virtual Reality is unclear, but statistics say that it should grow into one of the most popular entertainment mediums in these coming years. If we could recommend one thing, it would be to bust out your wallets and start investing as soon as possible.