Virtual Reality is finding its place in the heart of all inventions and developments at a rapid pace. Now with more companies investing in virtual reality, it is quickly evolving into a growing trend. As a result, the total number of global VR users is expected to rise from an estimated 43 million users in the year 2016 to 171 million users by the year 2018. The future of entertainment is moving at a phenomenal speed as the technology continues to grow. So how exactly is virtual reality changing the way we experience different forms of entertainment? Let’s have a look.
The most obvious and the most demonstrated use of virtual reality has been in the field of gaming. VR offers an immersive experience for its users by providing a whole new level of excellence. VR games are released for consoles like PlayStation and on Steam for PC gaming. They enable a person to experience three-dimensional entertainment environment and interact with it while playing. The result is incredible games like Pokémon GO, Batman: Arkham VR, Resident Evil, or Arizona Sunshine to name a few. And not just video games, virtual reality is already changing and expanding the way online gamblers can play at the online casinos.
Virtual Museums and Galleries
Parents usually have to drag their kids along when they wish to visit a museum or a gallery as the kids really find these places boring to the core. We don’t blame them, as museums, especially historic ones or art galleries can become a dull experience for kids. But with the use of virtual reality in museums, interactive exhibitions and galleries, the attitudes of everyone towards any such heritage sites is beginning to change. Early in 2017, British Museum had launched a VR experience for the users worldwide to experience a fully-immersed virtual tour using a Virtual Reality Headset. In fact, you can download Google Arts & Culture App on your iOS and Android and with the use of a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard you can take a virtual tour of so many of such sites without having to leave your home. Temple of Zeus, Robben Island Prison, or the construction of Statue of Liberty, etc. can now be witnessed for a thrilling and close-to-reality experience.
Virtual Movie World
Recently, a report claimed that virtual reality technology could add $7 billion to the revenues of the film industry in the year 2017 and that figure may rise 10-folds by the year 2021. Virtual reality enhances your movie-watching experience like never before and this potential is being realized by industry giants all over. Major movie studios like Disney and Warner Bros. are now focusing on creating branded virtual reality content for their audiences.
In early 2017, IMAX launched its first ever virtual reality cinema in Los Angeles and film festivals including Cannes now have special categories for recognizing the work in the VR field.
“Facebook and Apple are pouring billions of dollars into this industry and these hardware developments are key but it will all come down to content and we are excited by the way that is developing,” explained Korean-American filmmaker Eugene Chung, whose production “Arden’s Wake” won the Best Virtual Reality award at Venice in September.
Social Media Experiences
Even the tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft are launching new VR handsets in an attempt to democratize this technology and are heavily promoting it. The results clearly showed when Facebook had recently collaborated with Samsung. In 2016 alone, Facebook reported that users watched more than one million hours of content with Samsung’s Gear VR hardware. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg acquired Oculus VR in the year 2014, he and his team have been committed to the future of virtual reality and coming up with stand-alone virtual reality headsets that appeal to the masses and are cost-efficient at the same time so the technology isn’t reserved only for the rich or a niche market. Social media giants like AltSpaceVR offer a platform where players can attend live concerts halfway across the globe, or comedy shows, or simply meet people, all through virtual reality. This further points to the fact how willingly people are ready to embrace virtual reality technology for improved experiences.
Lately, 360-degree cameras are being used to capture and stream sporting events in virtual reality. Very soon it would be possible to teleport yourself to the stadium and watch a live match without having to deal with a rowdy crowd. The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games promised a live VR streaming and partially succeeded in its attempt as not the whole event could be live streamed. However, NBC Olympics has announced that it will provide more than 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage during the 2018 Winter Olympics.