Want to Become a Billionaire? Explore Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is the future. It has the power to change the world we live in and will evolve to consume tremendous amounts of our consciousness. In the same way the smartphone altered the paradigm of human interaction with technology virtual reality will mark the next leap forward on the path of linear progress.
I look at virtual reality and see a world of future possibilities. Most people view it as iterative development which has been around for decades; they see all the false dawns we have encountered along the way and assume this will be the same.
They are wrong.
The cost is still prohibitive for purchase of a dedicated piece of hardware to utilise the Spartan systems that already exist, but headsets to house your smartphones are closing the gap and enable participation of early adopters prior to mass adoptions of dedicated consumer kit. What those people will quickly realise though is that a virtual universe must be filled with services that exist in the analogue world, even those that exist digitally.
What most people miss though is this: they assume that those services that already exist will migrate and proliferate virtual reality immediately, but they won’t. Eventually those companies will create a product for an emerging service but this will not come until there is a body of users that make the creation worthwhile. Who and what fills that gap until that occurs?
Existing services and methods of communication will have to be reimagined for a new world. Every app on your phone will have to be remade for a new world.
The birth of a new technology offers new companies with innovative solutions to existing problems the opportunity to displace existing monoliths who are too slow to react. If it is assumed we will spend far more time in a virtual reality than we currently spend engrossed in our smartphones it is natural to extrapolate the need for a re-imagination of almost every service we use currently. The beauty of this is that the blueprint already exists, all that must be recreated is a new user interface and means of participation.
That rings true for everything from messaging service, to social networks and the consumption of sporting events. Where our participation has been restricted to a thumb on a screen and consumption of whatever is displayed on a 5.5” screen, virtual reality will become an immersive experiential service with the line between inputs and output more granular. Our screen will be where ever we are looking and with the introduction of auxiliary equipment our inputs could be the movement of our entire body or our movement ‘through’ a room. As we become less constrained by the limits of technology we will participate more fully for longer.
This highlights a significant advantage virtual reality has over traditional technology: it can be participatory in a physical way. We saw this phenomenon most pertinently through the mass adoption of pokemonGo which got a generation of gamers off the couch. For the horror stories imagined for a future dominated by virtual living the potential advantages must also be appreciated.
Virtual reality negates some of our physical and mental limitations. It has the potential to alleviate some of our bandwidth issues which prevent us being as efficient as we can be. Augmented reality will feed into this as well, where information that could be beneficial to us could be offered in our vision without request.
Its far easier to make the mental jump to imagine existing services exactly as they exist in the form on new guise in virtual reality but realistically it will emerge and evolve into new services. Naturally messaging apps will be completely different on a virtual platform than they are on a phone. One could imagine a world where a virtual you delivers a message to a friend where it appears you speak what is said and where your reply is delivered in the same way. Where the humanity of conversation has been stripped away by letters and words of text messages it could be brought back by virtual reality.
Consumption of sporting events is another avenue which intrigues me. Instead of being forced to consume the game from one camera it could be like you are there in the stadium, standing with the fans, watching the game.
Taking that a step further virtual reality spells the dawn of a new ages of experiential services. Museums and galleries could band together to offer a subscription service where you could visit any gallery in the world at any time you wished. Think Spotify for Galleries. The necessity to go to a location becomes significantly diminished. Would google evolve a version of maps where you could ‘walk’ from across Antarctica? Could the best seat at the ballet be sold to more than one person? Could you be on stage and walk around your favourite band as they performed?
The dystopian future that is projected is well known. The ignorance of people now in a world of smart phones is one thing, what happens when large bodies of people disappear inside headsets and live in a virtual world? All valid worries but the possibilities are what intrigue me.
The future of virtual reality is coming. Do you have what it takes to succeed in a virtual world? To do so all it might take it the recreation and re-imagining of an existing service for a new world of human interaction.
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