With one of the biggest headlines in tech last year on Facebook announcing its acquisition of virtual reality pioneer Oculus for $2 billion. 2015 has seen the return of the virtual reality hype with not only the Oculus Rift headset but also projects like Google Cardboard and Samsung trying to bring VR to the mass market. But is it here to stay?
Since the spotlight back on VR, the focus has mainly been on gaming. Video games seem to be an ideal medium for a technology that requires users to place a device on their heads and “live” inside a 3D virtual world. Users can swing around, see what’s happening around the game, and experience environments like never before. According to Nielsen, gamers aged 13 and up spend more than six hours a week playing video games. Video games have been one of the biggest focus of VR to date. Sony and Valve are both building their own headsets that will focus on gaming, and HTC and Valve have announced a VR headset that will be available later in 2015.
App developers are constantly working with companies to maximize the potential of new technologies, developing that buzz is why gaming is so important. Nearly every major VR company is promoting the gaming capabilities of their devices in an attempt to attract a loyal fanbase. As Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter says, “gaming is proof-of-concept” for VR. If that works and enough consumers jump on the platform, it’s possible Hollywood will fall in line.
Like these in new and innovative ways, VR brings an exciting prospect. There’s no doubt that gaming companies see value in virtual reality (VR), but other industries will also soon take advantage of the mind-bending technology.
Another technology being mentioned a lot in games at the moment is augmented reality. Like VR, it has been around for a while, and had some success. But it could be on the verge of significant growth. Although it is not the same as VR, it follows similar principles in terms of designing a game, or product, which interacts with or manipulates the world around the user through an electronic device. Mobile phones and tablets are perfect for this, and developing the idea further could be combined with Google Cardboard, for example, to create a virtual reality/augmented reality app.
Apps World’s Gaming track will be providing attendees an in-depth overview on opportunities in VR, The first day will have a featured panel looking at AR and VR Mobile Games, The Next Big Boom For Developers, with key leaders joining us from Tammeka Games, Opposable Games, Triangular Pixels and The Third Floor inc. This is a must attend event for developers to learn how to stay ahead of the wave on the exciting technologies that have returned this year with a bang.