An important part of the class is to discuss happenings in technology and how it affects business as well as customers. Often we don’t realize just how important tech is.
Virtual reality has been on the rise lately. Everyday a new company sets out to develop content for virtual reality. HTC has their Vive kit, PlayStation has their VR, Samsung has the Gear VR, Oculus has the Rift. However, VR is an umbrella term because everyone does VR differently.
The Vive is a monster of a machine at $800 needing a beefy computer to run it as well as multiple sensors where the user is usually free to move around in a space. The Rift is similar but less powerful and doesn’t require all the sensors. The Samsung VR is the weakest of the bunch since it depends on the latest line of phones but it’s much cheaper at $100. Lastly, the PSVR takes the middle ground. For $400, $800 if you don’t own a PS4, you can be engrossed in VR games. Though it is popular, PSVR isn’t as strong as the Vive but it is a much cheaper alternative. Most games developed for the PSVR run on “rails” which means it is like a roller coaster or a train
The interesting thing is that the amount of games at this time is so few that most gamers don’t want to get into the new wave of gaming. I have been a supporter of PlayStation for many years and though I don’t always agree with everything they do, I appreciate bringing VR to the masses.
Virtual Reality is important to where we are moving not only because it impacts entertainment but also because it has the potential for education and communication. Imagine how education would change if students could receive hands on training and how much easier distance education would be. Students could “log in” and instantly be in the same environment as the other students even if they are thousands of miles apart.
Imagine this; as a geology student you can be escorted to a dig site where you can discover rock formations and interact with them. As a medical student you can see inside the human body precisely as procedures are happening. Firearms training would become so much cheaper when training in an environment where firing a weapon puts no one in danger. Culinary students can practice engaging with customers, there is already an app on the Samsung VR where you can make a speech to hundreds of people. This is a great way of overcoming fears like public speaking or practicing a repetitive motion.
Of course none of these VR programs can replace real life experience but the benefits are still there. VR will help establish new norms if we can get it to the masses and if they accept it. It is a great platform to develop new skills and explore new ideas.
Read what the New York Times said about PSVR here: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/26/business/sony-playstation-vr-sales.html