Virtual Reality, Virtually: Why Virtual Reality Is the Future of MarComm Platforms, Part 2
Twenty years ago, virtual reality (VR) was a grand vision. Ten years ago, mired in skepticism. Today, VR pioneers are spreading the gospel. And tomorrow? Everyone will be a believer.
In fact, Mark Zuckerberg considers VR “the next major computing and communication platform.”
That’s a statement that’s already becoming a reality: Recently, The New York Times launched the NYT VR app, a major step towards the possibility of VR-enriched journalism. Combined with the Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer, which NYT sent to millions of home delivery subscribers for free, these interactive pieces demonstrate VR’s unique storytelling capabilities.
Despite Hologram Tupac, Oculus Rift, and VR’s incredible fanfare at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where it brought a Times Magazine journalist to tears, VR is still in its nascence. Nevertheless, pioneering VR studios include Magic Leap. And of course, a major driver — the biggest one — is the video game industry, where early VR applications are already visible in technology such as Oculus Rift.
Today, one of the big questions is a chicken-or-the-egg scenario: which will reign — VR hardware or software? Google Cardboard seems to think the latter. Microsoft HoloLens, on the other hand, still has its eggs in a hardware basket.
Another question is whether or not VR is a fad. We think that’s unlikely: VR is a promising new opportunity to tell stories and bring immersive experiences to audiences like never before. Who could say no to that? That said, getting VR off the ground requires equally next-level infrastructure and technology capable of supporting it.
This is the beginning of something new — and huge. What comes of consumer VR remains to be seen, but we’re all going to feel it when it hits.
We hope you enjoyed our 2-part series on the possibilities of VR.