Immersive Transformation Has Begun
We are entering an exciting era for immersive technology as the latest hardware, software and number of paying consumers are at an all-time best.
I’ve been a follower of virtual reality since 2015 and I first used an Oculus DK2 at my local science centre in 2016. Back then the graphics were extremely basic compared to what we have available today what with volumetric photogrammetry or in other words, proper real looking stuff!
The Oculus DK2 was the best we had for consumers back then. Its predecessor, Oculus DK1, was the 1st consumer VR headset since Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. Private companies and military had the only other virtual reality headsets then. So that was it, the only 2 VR headsets on the market with limited software.
Fast forward to now and we are spoilt for choice in all areas!
We can choose from multiple VR headsets from multiple companies from across the world. We can choose from a vast catalogue of apps, games and experiences with new ones entering the stores/market every day. But most notably, the number of paying consumers is beginning to spike too. I genuinely think that the Early Adopters segment of Everett Rogers’ Innovation Curve is starting to take flight.
No longer are we explaining what virtual or augmented reality is, it is already known. It has already been seen or already being used in general society. That’s a shift worth noticing.
Palmer Luckey (Oculus Founder) recently said that the Oculus Rift CV1 and GearVR sold well over 10 million units combined. The Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest are both just over 2 month’s old yet the content on social media around them is phenomenal.
Communities that are growing purely around these products alone are already massive, in particular for the Oculus Quest. A Facebook Group called Oculus Quest is just shy of 10k members. They are posting content of themselves enjoying VR but also sharing with friends and family members.
The buzz and popularity are multiplying at an exponential rate.
The number of people working on VR solutions across the globe is it’s highest too. A wide range of use cases from general, niche and even creative applications – you will find most of them here in this Immersive Directory! We are even seeing universities offering degree courses in immersive technology now.
Another interesting measure of our current position is the number of recurring social VR events. Connecting with others across the globe with full embodiment is a key attraction for me personally to virtual reality. But it would appear that others love this element too. I’ve attended educational events, concerts, team meetings, live sporting events and so much more whilst in my living room whilst wearing my VR headset.
One social VR platform alone has just under 400 virtual worlds all of which have been created by registered users! I cannot fully articulate the full breadth and depth of how much the immersive movement has grown but I hope this helps to convey the tip of the ice-berg for you!
The point being, this is just the beginning but look how far things have come. I refuse to listen to the words ‘VR is dead’ ever again. Perhaps I will bump into you inside the metaverse someday so we can continue the conversation?