June 07, 2016

The virtual reality concept once began as a pair of goggles that clicked through a series of images (View Master) and now has the potential to immerse your perception in a realm totally separate from where you’re physically located. Today’s virtual reality is a powerful technology and companies are beginning to notice the impact it can have on their brand and with their clients. We just scratched the surface of how virtual reality is slowly becoming part of the business world during a recent Think IT meeting in Chicago.

Originally posted onThink IT

Our brain is a powerful organ and the one that is the most complex.  It produces and processes our every action, thought, memory, feeling, and experience we encounter.  Imagine an experience where you can capture similar feelings, actions, and thoughts with a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by using special electronic equipment? (Oxford Dictionaries) The concept is Virtual Reality and once you put yourself in that world it is a completely different experience!

Now Virtual Reality is not necessarily a new wave in the tech enterprise, but one that has come a long way and is currently generating many headlines from organizations who are utilizing VR as a competitive advantage to add value to their clients. Tracey Wiedmeyer, CTO and Co-Founder at InContext Solutions led our CIO meeting as we discussed the topic What Is Virtual Reality and How Is It Transforming The…World? and tapped into a brief history of where VR came from, why now, what to prepare for, and some areas where a majority of investments are currently being spent in the VR space.

History of VR

With the brain being so complex, how can we create a 3D reality without interfering with the center of our nervous system? Well, it’s taken some time to successfully do so as technology has transformed.  From the first View Master in 1939, Google Cardboard introduced in 2012, to present day with Oculus andMicrosoft’s ‘Holoportation’, there have been many advancements in tech that have the curated the VR innovation boom.

Here are a few descriptions of some on the timeline:

  • 1985 –Mattel Power Glove: Understanding how you can interact with the world using your peripheral
  • 1991 – Sega VR only got to the prototype stage. Feedback included that it was creating too much motion sickness and that graphics were too low quality to make your brain think it was real.
  • 1993 –Virtuality concept:  Line of reality gaming machines which deliver real time gaming
  • – Oculus Kickstarter: 18 year old, Palmer Lucky, started the company

Staying Ahead

In order to be efficient and effective when it comes to VR, what can we prepare for to stay ahead? It is important to prepare for the inevitable Gap of Disappointment which is a linear curve that illustratesthe difference between people’s expectations and their initial reactions to VR technology. The linear curve will be a lot slower because of content, but will eventually rise faster as the technology progresses.

While there may still be a few hurdles to overcome with the development, such as resolution, cost, complexity, convenience, and latency, all of those issues are expected to get better overtime so that users truly feel they are in the virtual environment without getting motion sickness. Despite the issues, VR currently provides many benefits to organizations both in the B2B and Consumer spaces.

And, it’s safe to say that aside from adding value to clients and consumers, all companies want to see the ROI. With that, there is a lot of opportunity in terms of projection as the growth is on a linear curve. 

There are as many headsets coming out for Augmented Reality (AR) as there are for VR and we are seeing the costs for devices go down and computing power go up. By the end of 2016 we expect 10 million devices to have been sold, with 2020 expecting 65 million devices sold. It looks like there are a lot of things working within the hype cycle telling organizations that VR is here to stay! 

Take a look at a few shots of our members participating in avirtualplaygroundafter the meeting!

Have you seen the impacts of virtual reality within your organization, or do you see the benefit of companies embracing it on a larger scale?

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Posted By: Jaclyn Roman

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