If you have paid attention to television commercials lately, you have seen advertisements about virtual reality. While not a new concept, the technologies have continued to improve. What remains to be seen is when VR will actually captivate the market. Notice I said ‘when’ and not ‘if.’ It’s a no-brainer that virtual reality will one day be a major player in the entertainment industry. For now, it’s mostly a novelty, something that hasn’t quite found its mainstream stride just yet.
All it takes is for the right technologies to be in place at the right time. Remember how bulky virtual reality headsets used to be? I remember playing an arcade game using one. Things are a little different these days of course because other technologies within other industries also continue to change. There are several companies out there that are trying to get a handle on the VR market. One is Intel, and then there is Turtle Beach, too, which by the way handles the audio side of the business.
These are two companies in a huge field of contenders. They are also tapping into an industry that has taken years to develop. Let’s be clear that VR isn’t just about entertainment either. It has long been used in some forms of military and defense training, as well as other training programs for other organizations. It has found its niches as the technologies change, but one day, it will find its mainstream niche with the public for entertainment purposes.
Intel was a company advertising the VR television viewing experience. They had a major campaign out during the Olympics this year, and it remains to be seen how it is going to catch on with the public. To be quite honest, I don’t see people wanting their faces covered up completely. That makes even the newer VR headsets look a little bulky. What people don’t mind having covered up completely, however, is their ears. Now isn’t that something.
Full coverage headphones or audio headsets are trendy, but people want their eyes wide open. Yet they won’t be able to see what’s in front of them if they are in the middle of a VR viewing experience, or will they? First of all, let me just say that what I’m getting at is that virtual reality headsets are going to get smaller and smaller. People don’t mind the larger, stylish audio headsets. Yet there is nothing stylish about something large that is covering your eyes.
So picture VR headsets the size of contact lenses. That’s pretty much what I’m expecting to happen at any certain point. Who knows what transformations they will take along the way. One thing I do know, however, is that you’re not going to convince the majority of the public to put on some huge VR headset just to watch TV. Those companies out there need to get with it and figure out how VR fits into the modern world. It will likely be an experience where people can see in front of their face what they expect to see on a tablet.