VR technology – what’s next?
“Do you remember the similar to VR glasses in the movie” Back to the Future?” It came true – now we have a technology, which 10 years ago we could not dream about. Each of us has lots of different gadgets, but still something is missing, so what? VR – perhaps it’s the lacking link that separates us from Marty McFly”?
Not much time passed since VR technologies started actively developing. VR has grown “from a demand” and natural desire of human to experience new.
The mass of gadgets that we have today will not be the limit, it’s only the beginning. Today it’s time for VR glasses and 360 content technologies. This is really something new, incomparable in its wow-effect with 3D, or even with Google Glasses. It allows audience to make the craziest dreams come true, like a virtual ride on attraction in amusement park, watching a football game on a stadium or making a trip to a cave on the other side of the world without leaving home. For content producers it means the next step in the creation of new technology, setting new trends, and having a look at the content production from a different angle.
VR is undoubtedly a new ecosystem in media, however there are still lots of questions about it. For instance, what content genres (other than sports, nature, traveling and adult) could be successfully adopted; how long we will consider it a breakthrough, will this be the impetus to the creation of another ultra-gadget or new technology? Will it become “must have” gadget? Or could it happen that in the nearest future people will get bored with this technology and request something totally new? Let’s see…
Anyway, it seems to me, it will not happen with VR quickly, because this technology has a big capacity, explored by producers from all over the world. The industry of entertainment is today almost a driving force for the development of many technologies. Extremely fast VR is developing in Asia, that can become a big push for producers to promote and improve the technology.
I am often asked – “What to pick, which genre, style of presentation to choose, where to distribute, how much it will cost, and what do you think in general are the prospects for VR?” On my opinion, concerning video they are quite illusory. Due to super quick flow of information, modern human is not able to focus on one thing during long time. You can twice put on these glasses to experience new emotions and on the third time get bored. I think the era of 3DVR games will come instead. Games used to involve people even at the times of black and white images and massive heavy computer hardware. Some could easily “dive” in the game for a week, and didn’t notice this. With the virtual reality glasses many people can get stuck in pseudo-reality. Of course, it will unlikely have a positive impact on society, but during “revolutions” “victims” are unavoidable.
Some of my colleagues think that VR will be useful in medical applications to recover patients who suffered from physical or psychological trauma, some of them bet on video games (like me), another think this will make people even more lazy, and that it may create a cognitive dissonance for human brain – the body in reality is sitting in the chair, while eyes show that you run, jump etc. Interesting opinions…
While discussions are still going, VR doesn’t stop to develop. 3DVR is a synthesis of 3D &VR technologies. Not many people managed so far to evaluate its quality and “taste”, but the producers assure that it is much more interesting than the “traditional” VR.
3D is just one example when a new technology was not “adopted”. Many of us bought 3D TV “on the wave of fashion” or inspired after going to cinema, but it turned out that to watch 3D on the screen 10-15 times smaller than in cinema and without a professional sound system was not as impressive as expected. While one part of the TV experts believes that 3D as a commercially profitable technology is dead, the other part assumes that VR can give a new impetus to 3D.
With one of my foreign colleagues we discussed whether it’s worth to convert an existing VR content into 3D. A short resume: VR has to be determined. Many manufacturers of TV’s have their own 2D to 3D converter module. They offer 3D like experience, but it’s nothing to do with a native 3D shoot or a good 2D-3D conversion. Most of films we watch at cinemas are 2D-3D converted. But there is a problem: a big budget is required for film to be converted. The problem when watching VR content is resolution. Even with 3840×1920, wearing Samsung Gear VR, you miss a level of details in comparison when watching from TV monitor. VR is stereoscopic, so, if you get a couple of good stereoscopic images, the immersion will be much better. Majority of users can distinguish 360 video vs a 3D 360 video. They say the second is much better. The reason for not doing conversion? Mainly budget or technical factors. Perhaps the most important one is the level of 3D technology perfection.
But let’s put aside all thoughts and just look at it through the eyes of the ordinary user: “what feeling gives 3DVR?” Can it make you feel something new, give a “fresh breathe”? In fact, 3DVR provides the opportunity to be completely immersed in a virtual reality: visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, walk through the streets of Rome, try the role of a superhero and fly over the city or ride on extreme roller coaster not leaving your seat.
In my view, we should agree upon that it’s only time that will show what is the future of 3D VR or traditional VR technology. I would like to support the opinion of Zuckerberg, who said that in the next 5 years, VR-content will stand in one row with the most popular today content types.
*other people’s opinions were used in the article
Author: Artem Zapolskyi