In terms of where VR is today visually, it’s not “The Matrix” by a long shot. Rather, it’s probably capable of reaching somewhere in the range of “Polar Express” uncanny valley creepy though.
The experiences will improve as demand generation puts more VR headsets and peripherals into the hands of a new generation of gamer, trainer, and entrepreneur. Combined with advances in computing and networking speeds, things are going to get feisty.
So, the natural question would be where convergence fits into place. For me, I look back to the SQUID of “Strange Days” and even “Brainstorm”.
Convergence in VR will be interesting for several areas:
- High end headsets will be replaced by an affordable SQUID that might not be too far off from donning a fashionable hat (hey, it can’t be worse than when folks were Bluetooth earpieces)
- Processing units for the VR experience that currently require tower size gaming rigs will be replaced by ultra portable devices
- A lessening of dependency on the current accoutrements will allow a user to be paired with biologically sound interfaces
- sub dermal SQUID
- haptic implantation
- Software improvements obviating psycotropics (to get past algorithmic challenges for suspension of disbelief) will give rise to blending of VR and augmented reality (AR) without the need for glasses
As for the convergence of the physical impacts of a VR or AR experience I can see a couple of possibilities
- Bounded experience areas requiring a user to stay in a flat grid will be replaced with active surfaces and other logically configured physical environments (approaching the holodeck concept)
- A passive physical posture will be more desirable and “The Matrix” approach of stimulation will mean the user just stays in a fixed position.
Will experiences be available in a RedBox kiosk like DVDs and games are today? Will experiences be massive downloads like with a movie from Netflix? Will we be able to stream an experience? Can I subscribe to a bundle of experiences? Will experiences have discount codes if I subscribe to a series of experiences on retail’s digital Black Friday?
These are all great questions to ask. As the consumer experience dictates, the convergence will arrive to satisfy a scenario where “it just works”.
Lastly, as a reminder… convergence will also apply in how we communicate and share experiences and improve upon the pursuit of refinements in developed skills. It’s already happening now on the edges of the IT and skills continuum. Soon these new training methods will coming to a consumer retail ready experience near you and the people you know and probably sooner than you think.