What’s trending now:
For what many are calling the next big platform, Virtual Reality is defined as the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment. Its sibling, Augmented Reality, is more based in amalgamating the reality with technology, through a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
The concepts of Virtual and Augmented Reality go back decades, but have matured to a point where a cohesive alignment between the ever improving quality of devices, as well as an ever-evolving market place for content and applications, is possible. We see ourselves in the midst of this fiction becoming fact, where almost every major tech player is competing for a larger share of this new market.
Why it’s important:
VR and AR present exciting new possibilities in a sector that has become saturated by smartphones and is looking to ‘wearables’ and other innovative new platforms for reinvigoration. Questions are already being raised as to the functions that these devices will serve away from the current focus being gaming and entertainment. Oculus took this years Comic Con as an opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of its Medium platform – a sculpture tool for visual artists and content creators alike utilising it’s Rift headset and forthcoming ‘Touch’ and ‘Quill’ controllers to create work in virtual 3D spaces. Microsoft has seen similar application through its Hololens device, integrating its entire Office suite as well as seeing interest from the medical and automotive sectors, augmenting the world around the user with different applications.
As the market matures over time we will see more applications and platforms that will bridge the gap between virtual and reality with platforms and content. The immense success of Pokémon GO is already an indication that consumers are hungry for games that require real-world exploration with virtual-world reward. Like in the Pokémon GO model where SME’s can pay a nominal rate to host Pokémon in their vicinity there will be a rise of platforms that utilise this approach with a strong call to action and reward based system.
In time SVOD services – with market leaders such as Netflix and Amazon Prime – will create entire VR centric content thus increasing their value proposition for the monthly subscription. The foundation is already being laid with cult TV series Mr. Robot releasing a short VR film online. In addition to this is the opportunity for music and arts festivals to extend their media capabilities and strategy where this year alone Bonnaroo in partnership with Samsung captured the three-day event in a four minute 360-degree video escapade with performances by M83 and Purity Ring.
At the hardware side of the spectrum Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Oculus have offerings with strong interest from both consumers and developers a like. Whilst on the software side Google has focused its attention to catering an offering through Android announced at this years annual I/O conference as ‘Daydream.’ The development tool will provide the canvas for new and immersive experiences, as well as be backed by major content creators and game developers. Before the end of the year over a half dozen phone makers plan to release Daydream-ready smartphones with partners such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi and Huawei.
By: Jordan Major
Travel, in all its varied forms, is a concept that inspires and drives the ambitions of Jordan Major. From backpacking around Europe to exploring new professional territories his journey is one that knows no bounds. Having written for the likes of GQ and Between 10 and 5 this young creative sees this new chapter with Flux Trends as a way to speak to the present about the future in a meaningful way.
Image credit: Nan Palmero