What Is in Store for the Future of Virtual Reality?

March 3, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


If you’re tuned into the tech world, you’ll hear terms like VR, AR and AI mixed into daily conversation. While artificial intelligence (AI) has taken on a clear lead in the industry, virtual reality (VR) is steadily building momentum. Though it’s been slow to take off, the future of virtual reality shows potential.

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation usually of an environment that’s not real. Through a headset, helmet or other visual device, you can immerse yourself into VR and seemingly interact with that virtual environment.

Pretty cool, right? So, why is it still growing so slowly? There are two main reasons why: price and practicality.

First, it’s expensive. That will easily keep it from becoming popular. But it’s expensive because of the resources that go into it.

Developing VR games is hard, so that’s one practicality issue. The other is that it’s not as portable or casual as many would prefer. It requires the helmet to play, so not many people want to use that while on the go.

However, don’t let the impediments get you down! Developers are finding new and better ways to improve VR every day.

Where Is VR Now?

VR currently has many different uses and not all of them necessarily involve a headset. Not to mention, prices are decreasing as well!

It’s a versatile platform that’s increasing in technologies, popularity, uses and industries.

  • Semi-immersive VR combines the real and the virtual. It blurs the lines between the two and offers things like flight simulations.
  • Mixed reality VR similarly mixes virtual and real elements, but you’re able to actually interact with the real world. This could look like an immersive house tour.
  • Industry-specific VR helps certain professions. For medical purposes, this VR could help practice surgery virtually. For warehouses, this could also help employees practice safe regulations and management.
  • Augmented reality (AR) overlays virtual elements on top of real ones. It’s an industry of itself that has developments changing the game and the industry. AR could be something like Pokemon Go or involve creating to-scale 3D models for architects.

Many people believe that VR doesn’t go beyond gaming and entertainment, where you’re fully immersed in a virtual environment. But these other uses show how versatile VR can be.

Where Will VR Go From Here?

VR devices are already starting to drop in price. As they do, VR becomes more accessible for everyone.

For example, the Oculus Quest came out in 2019 for $400 at its base price. That may still seem pricey, but compared to other devices upwards of $1,500, it seems like a steal. Other developers are also creating VR platforms for cheaper, too.

So, as prices decrease, purchases will increase. From there, the industry will start to invest more in VR. Then it will become a standard for gaming, entertainment, industries and more.

VR therapy, for instance, can receive more investment once VR becomes more popular. It offers a gradual, virtual immersion therapy approach, meaning nothing would be able to harm you.

Retail, education, and central home hubs are other examples of industries that will benefit from the rise of VR. It can improve efficiency, productivity, and engagement.

The future of VR looks promising. You’re bound to see it everywhere within the upcoming years.

And as developments like these become more popular, VR becomes integral. It will no longer be a growing trend, but rather an inseparable part of everyday life.