In 2015-2016 I have been observing a huge buzz in media around Virtual Reality (VR).
It seems that Virtual Reality is literally everywhere while Augmented Reality is receding.
But actually it is not true.
Of course, if we were planning to switch to a concept of life shown below,
the development of virtual reality technology would be a key priority.
But this is far from the truth. We live now and plan to live in the “physical world” for at least the next 25-30 years, therefore the virtual reality we currently have is rather “limiting”.
All these controllers, barriers, and similar devices do not fully immerse users in another reality (as they would like to).
My company, for example, was selling solutions for property demonstration in virtual reality a few years back and one of our customers was so absorbed with the view that fell and broke a table as he confused “realities.”
Why then there is a buzz about Virtual Reality?
There are two reasons:
1. Large corporations are afraid to miss the “second iPhone” and therefore prefer to carelessly invest in VR.
2. The entry threshold into virtual reality field is much lower than in augmented reality.
It’s much easier to develop cardboard glasses and attach them to the phone than to develop augmented reality glasses like Microsoft Hololens.
My prediction would be that despite the hype around virtual reality, augmented reality is more fundamental and more promising area for research and development for the next 10-25 years.
Looking four years back no one could offer a promising device with augmented reality, now there is already a quite promising product on the market – Microsoft Hololens.
A few more years of improvements and we will see a lot of augmented reality devices in the market with a truly user-friendly interface and cool user experience, which can be finally reach mass audience, the stage Google Glass did not reach.
What will happen in a long-term perspective (>30 years)?
Perhaps the concept of living in a virtual reality, when people don’t need to move in a real world for a long time is about to happen, but currently technology is not yet ready to fully immerse a person in a different reality without constant reminders from “real reality” due to imperfection of sensors.
v @ vactivity.com
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