August 30, 2022
Is Virtual Reality going mainstream?
Virtual reality has been on the verge of becoming mainstream for years now. Today it seems like it’s getting closer to that moment and all due to the involvement of some of the biggest players in the VR game. One of them is Meta, who recently changed the game in VR’s favour. What does that mean for the industry, availability and the future development of VR applications? Keep on reading to get your answers.
Meta changing the game
It all began with the release of Meta Quest in 2020 at affordable prices, creating massive hype worldwide. Here we’re talking about a VR headset that is completely standalone and widely available to the masses while still having a configuration that can provide great VR experiences. But this isn’t something that happened by accident, as Meta planned on making VR accessible for anyone just before they announced their next project – Horizon Home. The idea was to provide a platform to “let users interact as digital avatars in virtual homes created through Facebook’s VR system, where they can also watch videos or play games together,” explains Bloomberg. The whole project can be considered as one of the first versions of the metaverse and it woke a lot of attention. Still, the project is not perfect and Mark Zuckerberg himself said: “It’s a ways off, but you can start to see some of the fundamental building blocks.”
Horizon Home by Meta is a fantastic starting point of the metaverse and perhaps even the product that will push VR into the mainstream zone. (Photo: Meta)
Their focus doesn’t stop at great experiences for those individuals who enjoy gaming; on the contrary. Meta plans on creating a platform widely used by individuals and businesses to host meetings and conferences but also act as a co-working virtual space of the future. All of this certainly added to the popularity of VR little by little, but it’s precisely the attention that led to some of the most exciting advancements VR humanity has faced so far.
Advancements coming in the next 365 days
In our blog post, we wrote about big things coming in this decade hardware-wise, but this time it’s all about the year ahead of us. The improvements we will see come in a couple of ways and here they are explained:
1. Display – although we’ve been able to purchase headsets with pretty realistic graphics like Varjo’s and Pimax’s, they came at a hefty price. The future ahead of us is going to bring some of the best graphics we’ve seen so far, and all at a pretty affordable price. While we still can’t talk about the exact numbers, the idea is to create affordable devices, so they shouldn’t breach the reasonable level.
2. Comfort – Wearing a headset for longer than an hour is not recommended as the eyes get tired. There are two reasons for discomfort; the headset’s weight and depth of focus. Newer versions of Oculus are already announced to come with a new type of lens that automatically changes the focus point by using eye teaching technology. This upgrade also reduces the weight of the device itself.
With just a few upgrades, VR headsets can become more comfortable. (Photo: Pexels)
3. Connection – VR users know that right now, a mobile VR experience is vastly different from tethered one, and while some work on creating alternatives like Oculus Link, the solution might be right there in something already existing. 5G services could provide a perfect way to render content in the cloud and stream it to the device, decreasing price, weight, and power consumption.
4. Social engagement – although VR kept catching the critics’ eyes regarding the lack of social interaction, Meta Horizon is about to change that. Photorealistic avatars and much more is closer than you think.
5. User interface – to be honest, UI in VR is not the greatest, mainly because you are trying to navigate around with a controller while wearing a headset. This is an easy-solvable element as hand tracking is already a thing with a couple of today’s popular VR headsets. A step up here would be speech recognition, which is something we will have to wait for a bit longer than 365 days.
Consider this as a puzzle piece where each of these segments plays a role in VR going mainstream. (Photo: Pexels)
Overall these advancements will make VR experiences more enjoyable and functional and increase the popularity of VR on a global scale. Still, apart from that, we can’t leave metaverse out of this. As we’ve explained in the first paragraph, its application is as important in business as it is in entertainment. With the release of Meta Horizon, we will see a glimpse of what the metaverse could evolve into. Consider it an exciting starting point.
Will Meta determine the direction?
If you are wondering whether Meta will be the one paving the path, yes, we think they will have a massive role in setting the base for the metaverse and an even greater one in VR becoming mainstream. Their Horizon Home is one of the most exciting projects they’ve been working on, and considering they are taking a different approach to privacy this time; this might be even better than we expect. All things said, we can’t think VR going mainstream is a bad thing anymore. Moreover, we will be the first to let you know when this moment happens.