The benefits of virtual reality beyond the world of video gaming have been well documented. However, the technology’s applications to the world of media are still in their infancy. It was only ten years ago that the concept of a wearable VR headset would have raised eyebrows – an idea reserved for the character of Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
As augmented and virtual reality continue to develop, the technology has shown some exciting promise. The immersive nature of virtual reality is providing eager audiences with more contextual detail than ever before — making the technology an ideal fit in the dynamic world of media.
The popularity behind augmented and virtual reality can be largely explained by recent household hits in the industry, with VR-enabled game titles such as Skyrim VR and Resident Evil generating immense hype at the time of their launch. Pokémon Go was one of the most popular apps in trend history, with the augmented reality game attracting over 750 million downloads in its first year. However, the outreach of this immersive technology isn’t limited to the gaming platforms of the modern living room, with developments in the field come new and exciting applications to the world around us – including the news and digital content that we consume every single day.
Advancements in technology have anxious journalists looking over their shoulders, with artificial intelligence increasingly playing prominent roles generating content in newsrooms around the world. Virtual reality, however, has added a welcome level of depth to the field of journalism. A recent partnership between Reuters and Samsung has given reporters more facets to their coverage: 360-degree capturing cameras have provided a more immersive view of global events, as news consumers are dropped right into the action. Other industries have followed suit, with architects, interior designers and even Pornhub investing in VR camera coverage, providing their clients with a more immersive and engaging experience.
It is now undoubted that the modern media consumer is looking for a more connected user experience. Innovations in virtual reality continue to strive towards that objective, with the industry attracting massive investment over recent years. Global virtual reality revenues reached a staggering height of $7.17 billion at the end of 2017, with a report published by Greenlight Insights predicting that those revenues will rise to a total of $75 billion by 2021. With investment capital increasingly throwing its weight behind the immersive technology, the depictions of virtual reality as a daily experience in Back to the Future may not seem so bizarre after all.