THE FUTURE OF VR
THREE EXPERTS PREDICT WHAT’S NEXT FOR THIS INNOVATIVE INDUSTRY
JONATHAN OPENSHAW EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE FUTURE LABORATORY
“What really excites us about AR and VR is their impact on human behaviour and empathy online. We’ve learnt from 2016 that rather than bringing us closer, digital culture has created a radically divided and dislocated world. Social media has become anti-social, creating an echo chamber of opinions and outrage that has little basis in the real world, but holds the power to radically disrupt our culture, society and politics.
VR can jolt you out of this superficial engagement and create a much deeper connection with human stories. If we look at the way The New York Times used VR to cover the refugee crisis in 2016, or how the Guardian used the medium to delivering hard-hitting editorial about solitary confinement in prisons, we can start to understand VR’s true potency. The last year feels like a tipping point in the attention economy, built on the ethos of ‘whoever shouts the loudest wins’, so perhaps VR can help create deeper moments of pause and focus.”
ANDY HOOD HEAD OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, AKQA
“The VR industry is still in its infancy, but even now, the opportunities it holds could shift the world of work as we know it. For those of us in branding and advertising, one of the key things that VR offers is access to environments and objects that could help us deliver more creative work for clients, and more compelling experiences for their audiences.
VR technology could really challenge and realise the elements we want to deliver that ordinarily would have been too expensive, physically impossible or simply too far away to conceptualise. From a retail branding point of view, VR could enable daring designs, product exploration and brand customisation to name but a few – all of which could be created through the lenses of technology before being fully implemented. This will evolve over time, but even in its earliest days of discovery and experimentation, VR could be an enabler that will take our industry to levels of creativity that have never even been imagined.”
LEILA MARTINE DIRECTOR OF NEW DEVICES, MICROSOFT UK
“In 2017, we expect to see mixed reality bring profound, new experiences and capabilities to both consumers and businesses. Since launching HoloLens to developers in March 2016, we’ve begun to see some phenomenal examples of what’s possible. HoloLens aided NASA in its design of the Mars Rover 2020, supporting both its astronauts on the International Space Station and its geologists. Case Western Reserve University is transforming the way anatomy is taught to the next generation of doctors, and Trimble is helping the AEC (architect, engineer and construction) industry bring 3D models to life as full-scale holograms, and creating new ways to collaborate across the globe.
In 2017, you’ll also see Windows 10 Mixed Reality holographic devices introduced via our OEM partners. The huge explosion in VR has magnified the types of experiences businesses and consumers are now able to consume, but we feel that mixed reality will drive the next phase of this phenomenon.”