My post title sucks, but it wasn’t worth coming up with something better.
I’m taking my cue from the following post by Michael Siebielec:
While in the garage getting out Christmas decorations I found a stash of VR magazines and promotional material from trade shows from 1995. Yes 1995 was the year VR was going mainstream! Just a reminder that another economic turndown could wipe us out again however I think we are in a much better position now to succeed and continue on this time around. It’s just those wide eyed rosy projections from the tech investment gurus that set profit expectations through the roof and end up screwing it up for us all.
I actually remember that time. Yes, I was young, but VR was everywhere. I remember being dazzled by a show called VR-5 (do not make the mistake of watching it again, it did not age well, at all,) I remember reading these articles on tech magazines, VR all over the place.
I think that VR will never actually be anything more than a gimmick. I believe that people don’t want to put headsets on, that they will not like the fact it’s making you dizzy, and that VR’s only applications are in simulations and training. Perhaps some very short, immersive and powerful narratives. That’s all.
Then again, you have George R.R. Martin making the claim that:
Current VR Is ‘Like The Theater Before Shakespeare.’
He might be right. There might be some pioneer that shows us how it’s done. Georges Méliès was one of those pioneers, D.W. Griffith and Orson Welles another. Perhaps it will be Robert Rodriguez who has just released his VR film the Limit.
I honestly doubt that. My bet is on Augmented Reality, it has already shown how quickly people adopt it. I know that AR after a while becomes second-nature. Pokemon Go has proven that people really, really like fooling around in AR.
The technology is not there yet. After the disappointing reveal of Magic Leap (I wrote a short story to express my feelings about it,) which is more like a Magic Fart, and the dwindling headsets, device-aided AR is not going well. But I believe that the first step towards mass adoption of AR will be through our smartphones. We carry one with us and most of them already incorporate the technology necessary for basic AR applications (camera, rotation and axis control, processing speed to superimpose AROs over live video.)
We will make it work somehow. We will throw a digital veil on top of the physical world that will be accessible by everyone, open-sourced, shared, and every physical object or significant location will have attached AR metadata on it to facilitate various applications.
Diving into VR is for old-timey cyberpunk stories that don’t make sense no more. Bringing the digital into the real world is what the future holds.