Is VR here to stay? Neil Smith says yes!

Virtual Reality (VR) has been going to change the world ever since the 1950s. Each decade heralds the next coming of VR as the technology that is going to transform human experience and take us into the brave new worlds of virtual gaming, virtual sex and virtual human experience. Only somehow, the promised land of real virtuality never seems to arrive and we're left stranded in the mundane worlds of 2D movies, 2D TV and 2D video games.

So why should VR in 2016 be any different than VR in 1996? Isn’t the so called Next Gen VR just another ‘flash in the pan’ like 3D TV? And more importantly, what has VR gaming got to do with production and post professionals struggling with the day-to-day challenges of shooting, editing and finishing narrative content in a world already saturated with too many films, too much TV and way too many YouTube videos?

There are numerous thing to mention around this topic, and that starts with a not so little company called Facebook purchasing a very little company called Oculus Rift in 2015 for $2 billion dollars and change. That in itself is not remarkable if it were not for a couple of related factors:

  • I don’t believe Mr. Zuckerberg is in the charity business.
  • Facebook has access to more eyeballs on the planet than any other media company.
  • more money is spent on playing video games than on watching Movies and TV combined.

Completely separate from such developments, the relentless impact of Moore’s Law continues to reek havoc on all things digital, and by implication, all things related to the modern digital world we live in now. Pick up your smart phone and take a second to think what you have in your hands. That's more computing power than used to be found in mainframes as large as your house. That device gives you incredible access to people around the globe through the wonder of the Internet and social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook.

The mobile, smart phone platform is replacing the PC as the most strategic IT device for human interaction, communication and video content. You can check out Apple, Alphabet and Facebook’s latest financial results to see how important video and mobile are to their revenue streams.

So if we put some of these ingredients into the melting pot and give it a stir, what do we end up with? A perfect storm of Moore’s Law driven technology innovation combined with the largest digital entertainment industry in the world. In other words, video games plus VR plus mobile plus a connected world equals one mega opportunity.

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