According to a recent article from TechCrunch, the virtual reality industry is currently booming as a viable space for new ideas. From 360 promotional experiences for upcoming blockbuster films, to being an immersive way to interact with social media content, to being a way to sit in on classes and tutorials–VR is no longer just for video gaming aficionados hoping to find the next level of immersive experience (though that’s definitely still a thing too!).
The sky’s the limit.
In case you still find yourself skeptical of the sheer power of the medium, here are some developments that are sure to make you a believer:
Facebook Acquires Oculus
Last year, Facebook acquired the VR property Oculus through a $2 Billion merger. Beforehand, Oculus was one of the few VR properties that showed a lot of promise, literally showcasing itself at TED Talks and Electronics expos across the company with their VR development tools as well as their own VR equipment and products. Though the company’s original focus was the intersection of games with VR, they also plan on generating a variety of products for making the VR an all-around media machine. With Zuckerberg on its side, Oculus is sure to accomplish some great things, and sooner than expected.
Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear
One of the biggest impediments to VR in the past was the cost. Who wants to shell out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to try out some experimental media device? With Google Cardboard, anyone can experience VR with $20 and a smart phone. Cardboard comes in multiple tiers and cosmetic options for those who want look as fashionable as possible while immersing themselves in imaginary worlds. Not letting Google be the only one to weigh in on the VR game, Samsung has also released a VR visor, in partnership with Oculus, that will only set you back $100.
NextVR Gains Traction
What if you could watch concerts without having to deal with the hassle of tickets and rowdy fans? NextVR is working on bringing immersive live events to you via VR. Last week they received $30.5 million Series A funding from Formation 8…in addition to support from a number of entertainment professionals from a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors to the Madison Square Garden Company.
These are just a few developments indicating a flow in the direction of VR ventures. As of yet, we’re still waiting for Oculus to launch in 2016. When it does, I’m sure there will only be more exciting things to talk about regarding this reality and the virtual one.