VR 2020 A More Inclusive Vision for Virtual Reality
When I was a kid I spent much of my time in front of my grandparents’ Telefunken Stereo Console, listening to audio dramas on LP records, and – if my grandparents allowed – watching television on the TV set that was perched on the console. Every time I inched too close to the screen, grandma would scold me worried that I was “tuning out” of the real world. What would she had said if she had seen me me strapping a HTC Vive or becoming completely immersed in the adventures of Land’s End?
Virtual reality has the potential to change how we consume content. After years of false starts, the technology is finally sophisticated enough to deliver on its promise to help us forget where we are and allow us to experience things we never thought possible. But as the first generation of virtual reality devices from different manufacturers starts hitting the market, what are the implications for enjoyment, productivity, social interactions, man-machine-interfaces, and health? How will opportunities within these areas help create a preferable future for both VR brands and their customers?
From rehabilitation to virtual robotic surgery, from field trips to Machu Picchu to empathy-building experiences, from enjoying Henry the hedgehog to creating your own magic with Tilt Brush – healthcare, education and media and entertainment are emerging as the areas where VR can have a clear positive impact. But how much more fun would a school trip to Mars be if the kids could see their classmates and interact with them while they are there? Having just created an amazing Tilt Brush artwork, wouldn’t it be great for a kid to be able to make eye contact with her dad to see how he approves? As VR helps us to develop empathy for people afar, will it at the same time numb us in understanding and sharing the feelings of the person next to us?