It was only a few years back when “touch phones” were launched in the market. People had just wrapped their heads around the concept of a “telephone” that does not require wires and can be carried around everywhere. Those that came with slick keypads, and with shiny stickers on the back. The technology kept evolving faster than we had ever seen it do.
Many around me (middle-class Indians) vouched that touchphones will never be a part of their lives. Well, I must admit, some of them resisted the evolution to “Smartphones” as long as they possibly could, but eventually, everyone relented. What was the reason? The lure of apps? the promise of uninterrupted connectivity? Or the death of the previous technology at the market?
The technology barged into our lives, leaving us a slave to it. Soon, it was everywhere, and it was affordable. Today, smartphones are almost a physical appendage in our existence.
Recently I had a deja vu of sorts when I heard very similar conversations about Virtual Reality devices. Of course, this time people were not as dismissive as they were during the onset of smartphones. However, similar questions are being repeated. The most important question: is VR about to take over entertainment in 2018, like smartphones took over communication early in the millennium.
Why do I need a VR headset? Should I buy a VR headset?
VR has been around for a few years now. With Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift, many predicted VR will see an instant boom. However, it was only in 2017 that VR started becoming mainstream. In Q3 2017 VR headset sales reached 1 million. The market now has many VR devices to chose from with key brands already in the play.
Many VR headsets are now even affordable. However, the key reason VR is now going mainstream is the availability of quality VR content. With major content players like Netflix showing interest, 2018 is predicted to be the year when VR will truly revolutionize entertainment.
Leading universities are exploring VR in education. From simulations for driving a vehicle when a disaster situation hits to using VR for teaching science, history or medical science, VR is at the future of learning.
Few exciting news about VR advancement
Before you decide that you want to wait and watch the direction VR is going, here are a few things you need to know:
- Sony just declared it will have over 130 games for its PlayStation VR before the end of 2018
- Netflix has already released Gear VR app, and recently released a 360degree trailer for its original series, Stranger Things
- Brown University uses VR for teaching students American history.
Arguably streaming VR content would require high-speed internet. Also when converted to Indian currency some high-end VR headsets are still on the expensive end for the middle-class Indian consumer base. But, there are many affordable options starting at a mere 500 bucks that you can start experimenting with right away. So hang in there and wear your seatbelt. VR wave will hit you soon. Enjoy the ride!