Virtual reality (VR), once prohibitively expensive, is becoming a viable commercial product. Decades ago, the technology simply wasn’t there. Now, consumers have flocked to buy VR headsets like HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift.
The numerous failures of virtual reality are falling away from memory, and we’re beginning to see companies and consumers embrace the nascent tech. AR, or augmented reality, has softened the blows of past failures even further with successful AR apps generating a great amount of value.
Some remain skeptical as to the impact of VR. Some contend that virtual reality applications are vaporware, or that the technology inherently has no room to grow. Quite the opposite is true, however. VR is making more headway than you may think.
Let’s take a look at the numbers: The Play Station PSVR has sold more than 2 million units, well over Sony’s projections for the hardware. Software creation has jumped considerably for VR. Even more impressively, AR has become a substantial subset of revenue-generating of apps on smartphone platforms. Look at the example of Pokemon Go, an augmented reality app that has generated US$1 billion in revenue. Even more impressively, the VR/AR market as a whole has generated US$3.4 billion.
What makes AR and VR so interesting is their capacity to expand all sorts of media. AR and VR can expand upon more than merely entertainment, too. The New York Times has transformed storytelling with their use of VR, which allows users of the tech to fully immerse themselves with stories from all over the world. In one story, we follow female wrestlers in Bolivia; in another we follow Syrian refugees. As different as these stories are,...
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