Once in a generation, a revolutionary invention changes the way that we work and live. From the light bulb to the airplane, innovation has always driven people forward by creating inspiring new possibilities.
We live in a time when technology with life-changing potential is released daily. Every day, we become more familiar with drones, AI, and chat bots, but by far the most exciting development has to be Virtual Reality.
So, is 2017 the year this immersive magic will take off and change our world forever?
A problem with exciting technology is that it often takes ages to become truly accessible.
The same is true of VR. Up until a few years ago, experiencing the virtual world required a safe room and a neck strong enough to support a bulky headset.
However, Google Cardboard and Samsung VR have changed that. Anyone with a smartphone can experience Virtual Reality, and that means its popularity is going to explode.
This sentiment is supported by the fact that almost all the major tech players have released Virtual Reality devices of their own.
This move suggests the technology, backed by major investment, is only going to become more popular.
Marketers Have Taken Notice
If you’ve been on Facebook in the last six months, you have probably seen a 360-degree photograph.
This could be defined as a simplified VR experience, and because it’s becoming more efficient and widespread, marketing teams all over the world have taken notice.
With brands pumping money into some really creative marketing campaigns that are reliant on VR, you can expect to see more widespread use of the technology everywhere you go.
Moving Into The Job Market
Like all disruptive technology, it’s impossible to predict the impact that Virtual Reality will have on our lives.
Initially thought of as the next step in the evolution of gaming, VR has already proven its versatility. From medical training to virtual tours, VR is changing the way we experience our world.
The next change will be in the way we work. This year will probably see the introduction of VR meeting rooms to connect international clients — and that’s only scratching the surface.
Now that we have the enterprise storage solutions needed to host the massive backend systems and information needed for rich VR, more jobs will be created in the space.
Specialists in VR design, both on the front-end and in the UX and development space, will soon become normal as the world starts to realize the potential power of the technology.
A Price War
One of the reasons why VR hasn’t taken off yet is that the price associated with top-end viewing devices has remained high — but that’s all set to change.
As bigger companies enter the VR market, they will be forced to price their devices at a point that guarantees them a profitable slice of market share.
Although there are very affordable headsets out there, the true VR connoisseur is going to be willing to invest a few hundred dollars in an immersive experience.
The result will be a spectrum of viewers at different prices offering different benefits — just like any other tech. But the difference is that mainstream affordability will be a goal for all the big players, and that means a price that will get consumers smiling.
The Test of Time
The modern consumer’s attention span is often ridiculed, and a consequence of the need for constant stimulation is that technology often gets forgotten before it truly arrives.
VR is different. Having been a mere fantasy for decades, it is finally here. It’s affordable, versatile and the opportunities are endless.
The fact that we’re still all interested in it means that it has the “cool factor” needed to make 2017 a bumper year. Remember, there are still loads of people who are yet to have their first VR experience, and now they finally can.
It finally seems that all the conditions are right for Virtual Reality to take off in 2017.
Major players have entered the market and the devices are constantly being improved to reach their full potential.
Coupled with an insatiable appetite and undeniable cool factor, it’s clear that this is the year of VR.