In 2016, Virtual Reality’s Moment of Truth Is Finally Here

2016 is going to be an incredible year for VR. For those of us in the VR industry, this is the day we’ve been dreaming about for years if not decades. But it’s also just a little bit terrifying. Because now, it’s time to turn those dreams into reality. It’s time to see what the world thinks of VR. We’re going to see the once hazy future of virtual reality become clear.
Obviously VR is going to be huge for video games,who hasn’t wanted to jump into their favorite digital world like it was real?
But there’s so much more we can do. Virtual reality is going to allow anyone to do almost anything, anywhere we can imagine, with anyone in the world. We’re going to be able to create immersive VR experiences which can thrill us, teach us, and allow us to more truly understand the lives of people around the world.
Will we create a virtual reality school that allows students from around the world to dive into a three-dimensional DNA structure and dynamically rewrite the rules of biology?
Can we build a virtual reality startup incubator in which scattered teams build rock-solid company culture and launch the next SpaceX?
Prediction: For the first six months, gaming will be the major driver of high-end VR adoption. Most of the news we’ll see will be about emerging, non-gaming use cases, but broad adoption will take longer. Mobile VR will be focused on non-gaming experience such as 360 video.
We’ve got an incredible lineup of VR hardware coming this year. From the entry level mobile VR to a great gaming headset from Sony to the magical holodecks of the Vive and the Rift, we’re going to see a wide variety of market coverage and adoption.
That said, don’t expect VR to take over everything this year. Remember, we’re still in the early adopter stage. It’s going to be mostly gamers, enthusiasts and hobbyists for the first few months. Then, we’ll either enter a super hot takeoff phase or continue strong into next year.
Predictions: VR will gain wide adoption among a variety of subcultures but won’t be something everyone has or even is sure they want. That said, cultural awareness of VR will explode, and most people who are even a little tech savvy will have at least tried VR by the end of the year.
The launch of consumer VR is a massive milestone. I think it’s going to go down in history with the Apple II, Netscape, and the iPhone. And like those technologies, we won’t see the large, societal shifting scale of VR for one to three years after launch.
Moving forward, it’s important to keep a keen eye on the future. It’s not just VR. Augmented reality (AR) is progressing at a much faster pace than expected. The Hololens, Meta AR, and Magic Leap are showing just how powerful the combination of the real and the virtual can be.
Ultimately, we’re moving towards a world where physical laws are going to be more of a suggestion; where technology isn’t flat, rectangular, and isolating. A future in which technology makes us more connected to ourselves, our friends, and the world at large.