Why are we hearing so much about Virtual Reality again?

Not since the 1990s has Virtual Reality been given such media attention and hype, but why are we once again hearing so much about it all of a sudden?

The truth is that Virtual Reality (VR) has been around in various forms for almost a century, with innovative engineers and creatives struggling to create a truly immersive experience. Now, in 2016 when escapism is everywhere, this concept seems to have taken on a new level altogether.

From the '50s to the '80s, this was Virtual Reality for most kids.
From the ’50s to the ’80s, this was Virtual Reality for most kids.

One of the most significant developments in the recent Virtual Reality market has been the 2014 buyout of Oculus, a VR company which Facebook purchased for a reported $2 Billion.

Now that they’ve managed to get over 1.59 billion monthly active users on Facebook, it seems that Zuckerberg’s next plan is to allow us all to create brand new realities within that realm. Whilst exciting for some, that could remain a scary prospect for others.

“VR is going to be the most social platform,” Zuckerberg said recently. “Facebook with Oculus, are committed to this for the long term. We’ve recently created new teams at Facebook to build the next generation of social apps and VR.”

Nothing terrifying about this at all, no sir.
Nothing terrifying about this at all, no sir.

All that aside, just what is Virtual Reality, and why should anyone care?

Well, it seems that there are VR plans for almost every faction of the tech industry which is currently in existence. The available hardware ranges from cardboard headsets which you can buy in most larger supermarkets, or even make for a couple of bucks, right up to the latest Oculus set, which can cost anything up to $900.

These headsets will allow you to link up to devices which range from smartphones to PCs and then process customised software and programmes which bring you right into the heart of the action. This could mean shopping, interacting, research….oh, and pornography.

That’s right. Inevitably, it took about a month of massive VR hype before the Adult Entertainment Industry got involved, which could prove to be one of the biggest selling points of the fledging technology. Even celebrities are getting on the bandwagon.

With the possibilities that exist for the gaming industry, which is currently more lucrative than Hollywood, the real developments will come when the competitors start battling it out for consumers. PlayStation are now joining the fore, as are Google, and so there will be interesting times ahead.

For a more in-depth analysis of the phenomenon, check out c-net’s recent podcast, WTF is VR and why should you care?

Colin J McCracken

Colin J McCracken is a content designer, editor and writer from Ireland. Giving form and function to the My Good Planet vision, it has been his role to design and develop the online platform, content and presence of the project.

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