THE FU­TURE OF VR

THREE EX­PERTS PRE­DICT WHAT’S NEXT FOR THIS IN­NO­VA­TIVE IN­DUS­TRY

Computer Arts - - Special Report -

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.”

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