Humans are fascinated by the idea of being somewhere without actually having to translocate.
That is the principle that over centuries has manifested in the industries of books, movies and videos (not to mention drugs, stimulants, and other less healthy alternatives). But, the human mind has always looked for a more immersive experience – one which engaged not just visual but a multisensory experience of an alternate world. The idea found early takers in areas of simulation (flight, vehicle, army training) and gaming (Virtuality and Nintendo). But, it is only in the last decade that we have hit upon the hardware that is sophisticated enough to completely convince the human mind about its virtual environment. And with that discovery has come renewed interests and investments in the domain of Virtual Reality.
The technology has stimulated the imagination of India today. A Delloite study predicts that Virtual Reality will have its first billion dollar year in 2016, with 700 million coming from Hardware and 300 million from content sales.
Here is your cheat sheet to get familiar with the next big thing in tech space:
What is Virtual Reality? (not to be confused with Augmented Reality)
After reading a book, or watching a movie, how many times have you thought, “Only if I could be there!” Imagine walking through Hogsmeade with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Or walking on the streets of Paris with your best friend, without actually either of you having to spend a dime to get there. That’s what Virtual Reality can do for you. “You mean like playing Pokémon Go? Seeing things that are not there” asks a friend, who has unfortunately been bitten by the insane bug. Nope – that is Augmented Reality, the superimposition of a virtual body in your actual environment. Virtual Reality is far more immersive – where your mind would actually discern a new environment, replete with the sights, sounds and in some cases, even tactile sensations of the place. And, you would need a serious, “Back to the Future”esque headgear to experience this, just your handheld is not enough.
That sounds expensive!
Actually, the gear in itself is not inordinately expensive. Gears are available from ₹1000 to ₹15000 per unit, which is about 3 to 40 times cheaper than the latest iPhone. But, the gear in itself won’t do much for you unless the content is created for virtual experiences. Good news is that the world, including India, has moved to top gear on the drive to create content for Virtual Reality.
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