Virtual reality is one of the hottest topics in tech today. While there's no shortage of skeptics predicting VR’s eventual demise, the fact is virtual innovation is growing at an exponential rate—and its ability to create groundbreaking solutions can’t be denied, or ignored.
VR's immersive quality is best experienced, rather than explained. But for those who haven't tried it yet, immersion when it relates to VR simply refers to the experience of interacting completely within a virtual environment, using head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Compared to a 360-video, which you can only watch, immersive virtual reality allows you to engage with whatever is going on around you. It also differs from augmented reality, which is interactive, but not immersive. AR overlays computer-generated stimulus on top of real life. Immersive VR creates a space that is as close to a parallel dimension as we can get right now.
So that’s what it means, but why is immersive VR gaining in popularity? There are a few reasons:
It Adds Meaning
There’s a reason people travel. In order to truly understand a place you can’t just look at photos online—you have to experience it. Instead of just looking at a toy in a box at the store, an immersive VR experience could allow you to virtually play with that toy, so you can understand how it works before you buy it.
It’s Almost Like Teleporting
Teleportation doesn’t exist yet, unfortunately, but VR is pretty close. Want to work with someone halfway across the country? No need to hop on a plane, just pop on a VR headset, and you can collaborate in the same virtual space, seeing and experiencing the same things, as if you were in the same room.
Millennials Aren’t Afraid
Just like any technology, it won’t take off unless there are people who believe in it and push it into the mainstream. Millennials are adopting VR capabilities much faster than their older predecessors—and it shows. From gaming to real estate to retail, virtual reality has spread into many different industries, because Millennials aren’t afraid of trying new ways to solve old problems.
VR enterprise business solutions are heating up the retail industry—check out InContext CEO Mark Hardy talking about all this, and more, during his recent interview on the Retail Tech podcast.