2016: The Year of Virtual Reality!

Aug 25 by Russell Dean

For a while now, virtual and augmented reality technologies have been on the verge of becoming mainstream. Well, 2016 has seen developments that mean we can safely say that virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are here, and they’re here in a big way. Both AR and VR are set to change the way we do business, how we interact with each other, and how we use technology. Essentially, we’re about to get a lot more integrated with our devices, with the lines between technology and reality becoming increasingly blurred.

Renowned futurist James Mackie has made a few predictions that point to the exciting ways we’ll be using technology in coming years. You can forget carrying multiple devices, using your hands to get work done (like typing) and prepare yourself for a business revolution. The office of the future looks pretty different to the office of today!

Computer monitors, mobile phones, touch typing and separate devices are all on the way out. Instead, we’ll be using completely mobile holographic monitors of any size we want, that can be manipulated by touching the air where your VR or AR interface is displayed. We’ll be reading holographic text messages and making phone calls to virtually real versions of our friends. Why touch type when you can simply scan your eyes across a virtual keyboard?

While complete integration of augmented and virtual reality technologies is still a little way off, there are very real and tangible possibilities already available to early-adopting businesses and individuals. Microsoft’s HoloLens virtual reality headsets are hugely well-known, as is Facebook’s subsidiary Oculus VR. However, newer players to the game like Meta and Magic Leap are making a splash, and it shouldn’t be long before we see a more competitive market. Samsung’s Gear VR offers a more affordable experience, and Playstation are introducing their own VR experience as well.

For some insight into just what’s possible, check out Mackie’s experience with the Microsoft HoloLens:

While most AR and VR technologies are still in relatively early stages, they’re only indications of the big things to come. All we can say is, get on board early and you’ll be well ahead of the game when it comes to efficiency, marketing and, of course, fun!