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Why VR Is Here to Stay


Meenakshi Ramasubramanian, Consumer Technology Association
Walk around the Eiffel Tower during the day, and crawl through the narrow, dark paths inside the Egyptian pyramids in the evening. These are just a couple of the unique experiences that virtual reality (VR) has to offer.

Walk around the Eiffel Tower during the day, and crawl through the narrow, dark paths inside the Egyptian pyramids in the evening. These are just a couple of the unique experiences that virtual reality (VR) has to offer. The technology industry continues to invest in VR: investments in this technology amounted to about $602 million in 2015, and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ expects a sale of 1.2 million VR headset devices in 2016.

VR investment and expectations are gearing up fast, although the pace of adoption of VR technology is going to be slow for several reasons: uncertainty about user experience in wearing a headset to view content, the cost of VR headsets and a (currently) limited content catalog. So what is so appealing about VR that is attracting investment?
 

Presence
There is no other technology that can transport the audience to a different environment as persuasively as VR can. It allows the user to truly live and participate in the moment. Such an immersive experience is both the potential and the challenge of content creation.

Immersive experience has always been unique to VR, but what has increased the potential for VR today is the advancements smartphones, tablets and other devices used to create, store and stream content.

Diverse Applications of VR Beyond Video Games and Hollywood
Many associate VR technology solely with the gaming industry but a closer look shows that it can be used effectively as a marketing tool; for streaming live sports, music and other events; and in education as well.

Hollywood creatives are focusing on specific genres, such as horror and documentary film, to develop VR content because the presence it conveys has the power to create empathy.

New and Evolving Production Techniques
VR, unlike other media, is so new that content creators are starting on a blank canvas without any precursor from which to learn or adapt production techniques. This is a limitation to some and an opportunity to others as it opens up experimentation with film making to extend beyond traditional cohorts.

In addition to not having any standard protocol, VR storytelling today calls for a different (shorter) movie length, new editing techniques and the ability to constantly learn and unlearn VR technology as it evolves (VR hardware is evolving at a rapid pace with many key players investing in the technology).

Learn more about VR technology from CTA.

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