It was towards the end of 2014 when I first heard about Oculus Rift and the advancements they are making in the world of virtual reality (VR). Since then, I’ve made it a point to follow news about VR and understand the players in the industry. However, over the past few months since the releases of the Samsung Gear VR headset last November, Oculus Rift headset in March and the HTC Vive last week, the amount of press, blog articles and commentary about the future of virtual reality has increased to a staggering level. This trend initially had me worried because, while there are some truly incredible advancements happening in VR technology right now, the true opportunity that VR represents won’t be fully realized for a number of years (here is why Gary Vaynerchuk thinks maybe 10 more years).
As current press about this technology has led to increased awareness about what the technology will provide, the additional commentary has also resulted in increased expectations. This worries me as it might also lead people to become disillusioned about the true opportunity that VR has to offer as current technology will likely fail to deliver on those high expectations. Yesterday I was reading a blog post written by venture capitalist Fred Wilson where he posed the question to his readers of how they see the future of VR, and as I read the comments, I started to notice that exact trend of negative perceptions that has likely resulted from unfulfilled expectations. Because Wilson’s audience is made up of people who understand and follow the technology sector, I was a bit shocked at their overwhelmingly negative views about the prospects and opportunities that VR offers. As many of the comments were technical in nature and simply engineering challenges that will have to be overcome, as those improvements are made, virtual reality will offer the military a training capability that they have long sought, creating for an incredible opportunity for not only businesses, but also for deploying service members.
Why I Believe Virtual Reality Will Succeed
My perspective on the opportunity that VR represents comes from my belief that the military has already determined that immersive experiences are a capability that they want for Marines and Soldiers before they deploy. A facility called the Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT), Continue reading »