You snap on what looks like a big rectangular black box the same you would a pair of goggles. The next thing you know you are experiencing a whole new world and environment from your own point of view. While standing in your living room, you are suddenly transported to the surface of the moon. You look around you, left to right, to see nothing but the dark vastness of space with speckles of stars dispersed at an unimaginable distance. You look down to see your feet placed firmly on the grey and rocky surface of the moon. Then you reach your arm out in front of you to try and grab a piece of floating moon rock the size of a baseball as it drifts on by you.
The world of virtual reality is no longer a myth
We have recently been graced with the technology we once only witnessed through multimillion dollar film productions in the sci-fi genre. Now, it is almost a regular commodity when it comes to things like gaming. Major technology companies are rolling out virtual reality head gear that can be paired with almost any mobile and electronic device. It’s a pretty cool idea to be able to submerge yourself visually into a digitally designed environment or landscape. Industries like video gaming have been able to keep up with the competition by turning to the use of virtual reality devices. But where is the future headed when it comes to virtual reality.
The opportunities are limitless when it comes to advancing the technology of virtual reality, but that doesn’t mean that it will be a seamless process. The industry as it stands is already facing challenges when it comes to production cost and development. Current advancements have included not only the equipment that allows you to experience the fantasy of virtual reality, but have also moved towards the consoles and devices that allow you to play virtual reality games.
Playing in virtual reality worlds – expensive
One of the first challenges currently facing the industry is the set up of playing in these virtual reality worlds. A completely immersive set up where one is placed in a contained physical environment that allows the user to interact directly with objects is super expensive. So expensive, in fact, that only major universities with research and development departments dedicated solely to virtual reality are the only ones with their hands on them. The rest of the world is left at the mercy of virtual reality glasses, which look more like goggles, that allow you to interact with smaller equipment like gloves and controllers. However, there are few products out there that offer a completely immersive experience that function in sync with standard computer devices.
The issue here is that it is hard to forget you are holding a controller instead of a bat or club. How do you make it feel like the scenario in which you see through your eyes matches up with what you are touching with your hands and feet? Could you imagine reaching out to that moon rock and feeling like you have gripped a real object? That is the type of technology that virtual reality developers are looking to create. Although the cost to develop these ideas is still quite high on the grand spectrum, the cost is likely to go down as advancements continue to grow.
We see the virtual reality technology available to us today as providing a visual experience, with a touch of audio, too. Add on the idea of physical touch, and then maybe throw in an appeal to the sense of smell and you have a recipe for a fully immersive virtual reality experience. The idea of being able to touch a majority of the senses is what will bring virtual reality to its fullest potential. Once all, or almost all, of your senses are tied in, the virtual reality becomes less virtual and more reality for the user. They’ll begin to lose sense of their external environment and focus in on their internal environment through the lenses. Start ups around the globe are gearing towards creating the software and technologies necessary to establish the ultimate virtual reality experience.
The market for virtual reality devices is in a much better place than where it first started. In fact, revenues for virtual reality equipment and software is projected to be around a beastly $5.2 billion USD by 2018. Time to invest wisely!
Virtual reality was once something that was limited to those involved in the gaming world. Now, we see more and more people with access to different virtual reality headsets and gears. About 43 million people around the world currently own and have access to some type of virtual reality headsets. That number is expected to skyrocket. The number of people expected to start using the new forms of developing virtual reality technology is expected to reach close to 171 million people.
Another industry of the virtual reality experience – gaming
There is another industry that is moving towards the world of the virtual reality experience – gaming. The world of slots, lotteries, blackjack, poker and craps will no longer be limited to the inner walls of a lavish casino. More people will have the opportunity to experience the gambling life by simply stepping into the virtual version of that world. Step over, internet cafes. There is a new boss man in town – virtual reality gambling.
It is no secret that the world of virtual reality has come a long, long way. But the best is yet to come. The advancements in the virtual reality market have only just begun. It is a safe bet to predict that in just a few short years’ people will begin to experience the virtual reality technology in a much more hands on and realistic way. From video games to casino gambling, the possibilities for the virtual reality market to grow are pretty much endless. TVs and radios are slowly becoming a thing of the past, which might make way for virtual reality to rise to the forefront of technology and the entertainment experience.