Thursday, 26 May 2016

Virtual Reality: engaging with a new medium

Regardless of how different the processes involved are, the impact that all kinds of emerging technologies are having on a number of sectors create similar kinds of disruption. 

I've recently been commissioned to carry out some extensive content research looking into the world of Virtual Reality - and have been fascinated by the parallels I've found between this industry and that of 3D printing. The supposed incoming revolution that Virtual Reality (VR) poses to an international array of individuals, companies and industries alike looks set to change the way the that people interact with one another - in what could be a very essential way. The immersive experience of being instantly taken to a virtual environment bridges geographical gaps the world over. For example - rather than traveling to another country for a meeting, conference or event, the introduction of VR allows users to very realistically 'feel' that experience - potentially from their own living room sofa or office desk.

The implications of this major shift in inter-human relations could be huge, and I'm excited to follow the development of this Digital Humanities issue. Like with all emerging tech, VR needs to become both relevant and affordable to a very large group of people before it becomes 'mainstream' - however, one crucial aspect of the tech is that the gaming industry stands as a perfect access point to it. Personal VR devices are already becoming popular for dedicated gaming enthusiasts, and as the price of the hardware drops over the coming months and years, who knows what applications Virtual Reality could introduce.

Check out 2017's inaugural London edition of The Virtual Reality Show: an event which I've been working on for the last few months in terms of content production, trend research and conference agenda curation.