Almost 8 years ago there was a list of the most important technological advances of the ten years before that. VR/AR was not on that list. Currently poised to be a $2 billion a year industry, the VR/AR markets are showing no signs of slowing down. Many industry experts even predict that 3D imaging, such as 3D television screens, will be out of the marketplace in favor of virtual reality viewing. Instead of watching re-runs of, for example, Star Trek: The Next Generation, you will be IN Star Trek: The Next Generation. From the bridge, to the transport station and even out to an as-of-yet unexplored planet, you will be there with the crew. You may have seen these shows before, but you have never been in these shows before. That’s the draw.
This may not happen for another ten years, but we saw the days of technology turning films shot in black and white, into color. We saw 3D technology as far back as the days when they handed out “3D glasses” at the movie theater. Google Glass has come and gone. These technologies were thought of before they turned the thought into reality, so now the greatest minds in the business are thinking of ways to implement VR where lesser technologies were once on top. The complexity of VR being coupled with the systems that can support it are what is taking the longest time to fine-tune.
Some can make an argument, though, that the biggest leaps VR has been taking in the past ten years have not been the technology itself, but rather the systems the technology can support. As of this writing, bundles can be bought with Play Station with everything needed to immerse yourself into a virtual world. What is debatable is the graphics. Is this as good as it gets? Some people say yes while others will tell you it is just the tip of the iceberg. This is one of those instances where the market will decide the future of VR graphics through a Play Station or other similar system.
When players demand greater realism in the rabbit they are chasing or the flag waver at the start of a car race, they will get that realism. Players who tire of the “novelty” of VR will be the ones who end the current cartoon-like graphics. If history tells us anything though, improvements in graphics will move forward whether through a system like Play Station or through a different system altogether. One that can benefit the medical field for instance. One multi-billion dollar industry supporting another sounds like a good marriage.
So, while the past ten years has been amazing to be a part of and look back on, the next decade promises to be just as productive. If you are waiting for VR to be a part of something you like to do, just wait. It may not take as long as you think and it may end up better than you expect. The fact is, VR/AR technology is here to stay and will only get better and more useful over time.