The most exciting aspect of contemporary virtual reality is its implications. Even using Oculus VR’s early duct taped-prototype, most users immediately “get it.” You’re transported to, say, Tuscany, or an underwater exploration vehicle, or a space fighter, and that experience is enough to trigger a flood of ideas for other potential interactions — interactions that are dramatically heightened by employing a VR headset. How about deep-sea exploration in 4K? Or maybe Mars? And we’re not talking just video games, but experiences. Valve VR lead Michael Abrash detailed that notion in a recent talk:
“Not only could VR rapidly evolve into a major platform, but it could actually tip the balance of the entire industry from traditional media toward computer entertainment.”
Abrash believes that VR headsets so vastly outperform other interaction methods (TV, theaters, etc.) that how folks absorb media in general may be impacted by the coming wave of head-mounted displays. His concept of our potential future may be distant-sounding, but the beginning of consumer-grade, extremely polished VR headsets isn’t far off: 2015. At least that’s what Abrash and Valve are targeting as primetime for VR, and they’re laying the groundwork right now.