Virtual reality and the concept of exploring worlds which are not ‘real’ in the sense that we typically understand it, has been a staple of science-fiction for many decades. The work of legendary writer Philip K. Dick was particularly centred around this concept, and spending time in virtual reality has been something that the scientifically-inclined have wanted to do for quite some time.
Thus, the development of virtual reality technology has been underway for several decades, and most people in the world are now familiar with the concept. Unfortunately, it has taken a while for the technology to catch up with human expectations of what it will deliver. But the time where virtual reality becomes a mainstream concept and something that everyday people use on a regular basis seems to be on the horizon.
With Sony developing its Project Morpheus virtual reality helmet, and Facebook having invested $1 billion in the Oculus Rift project, Microsoft has recently announced that it will follow suit with HoloLens; a headset which projects holographic images into real space. Certainly some of the biggest companies on the planet are investing significant resources in a technology which they think will play a significant part in our collective future. But does HoloLens have the potential to succeed where previous projects have failed?
Google has recently shelved its Google Glass device, citing the fact that production costs remain too high for a product which has failed to generate significant commercial interest. While Google did state that it still believes in the concept of augmented reality, and that Glass will be relaunched at a later date as a refined concept, this was nonetheless a big blow to the notion of successful virtual reality systems. It places Microsoft in the situation of to some degree dabbling in a challenging technology.
However, there are numerous valid applications for virtual reality technology. Microsoft has already initiated demonstrations during which it indicated that the technology can be used to simulate a walk on Mars (once again redolent of Dick’s short story which inspired the movie ‘Total Recall’). Already travel companies are investigating the possibility of using virtual reality to give consumers a taste of what a possible holiday could be like.
HoloLens can also enable business users to enhance Skype calls with virtual whiteboards, design products in three dimensions, and it can also being utilized to supplement 3-D printing. There are clearly business applications for this technology outside of the entertainment industry, where the focus on the technology has generally been squared so far.
Of course, video gaming is massive business today as well, so Microsoft was keen to show that HoloLens can deliver in this department. Thus, the corporation has already demonstrated HoloLens’ compatibility with the popular game Minecraft.
It might not be too much longer before IT procurement is looking at virtual reality technology. For the time being, this is still a few years away, but businesses can still call Technetics on 1300 853 453 for all their IT procurement needs available now or advice on what’s on the horizon.