By: Eileen Marable
My good friend Trace Dominguez over at DNews just weighed in with a great overview of the VR googles that were THE talk of CES2016, and will soon hit the marketplace. Unless you are a hardcore gamer, you are probably asking the same question I am – what will this technology do for me? Let’s listen to Trace and then we'll look at a few ways different people might actually use this technology:
As mentioned earlier, some of the first adopters of virtual reality will likely be gamers. Wearing goggles as you move through an online quest or first person shooter will bring a depth and urgency to perform as though your life depended on it.
Gaming is only one aspect of how virtual reality could change the way you receive your entertainment. For example, content creators like Discovery Channel VR and others will be creating custom content that allows you to become a character in your favorite show. You can join the Mythbusters and virtually dive with sharks (probably the best way to start), or explore a virtual space station where anything can happen. Crisp visuals combined with the right sound immerses you in a complete way.
There’s plenty to do that doesn’t involve relating to our television shows. Surf, ski or skateboard some of the world’s most incredible places, or become immersed in a news story as though you were a witness. There will soon likely be virtual reality experiences from many content providers that exist to transport people to places they may not be able to get to.
So perhaps you don’t care about seeing the world right now. You want to watch football, basketball and hockey. Well, imagine if you could always get a seat courtside or in the end zone via virtual reality cameras capturing the game for you and streaming to your headset? You definitely don’t have to be a hard core gamer to see the value of having not only he best seat in the house at sporting even, but ALL the best seats as games get covered from every angle. That seat may come at a subscription or one-off price, but for many sports fans it will be the Holy Grail.
In the end, if may also be a case of not what virtual reality has done for your directly, but what it does for people who touch your lives in many different ways. Imagine the pilot being able to train landing at specific airports by slipping on a pair of VR goggles? Or the training doctors could have by being able to practice on virtual organs or bodies? Those football players that you might watch in VR? Well, they're beginning to train in VR as well. It seems the future is already here.
Even more astounding is the story of a doctor who helped repair an infant patient’s severely damaged heart by downloading pictures of her heart to his phone via an app called Sketchfab, and using the inexpensive Google cardboard googles to study her heart in all dimensions to help plan his life saving surgery. The 3D experience using the Google goggles allowed the doctor to look at her heart in a different way and create a new solution. That’s a pretty darn cool use of virtual reality.
So get ready to toss out the notion those VR headsets are creepy and just a novelty. It looks and sounds like 2016 IS the year of virtual reality.
Want more CES tech? Tune in tonight at 8P for 2016 in Tech: What's Ahead?