Virtual reality had a moment in the public eye back in the 1980s. A new and exciting technology, VR was set to change the face of entertainment as we knew it. However, there were technical difficulties with the initial headsets and public attention soon waned. Fast forward to the 21st century and VR is back with a bang, having ironed out its technological imperfections and intent on leaving a lasting impression on the entertainment industry.
One of the first sectors to be affected by the progression of VR technology is the film industry. The appeal of a fully immersive cinematic experience has led to the development of VR content that is perfect for cinemas. Major studios Fox and Paramount are experimenting with combining VR and well established franchises, from Interstellar to Game of Thrones. As VR provides a physical experience, sometimes nausea but often a feeling of motion without moving, filmmakers are naturally excited by the prospect of working with this type of technology.
For example, scary stories and horror films could take the watcher to a new level of fear, while films about nature could have an incredibly powerful effect. However, there are limitations when it comes to shooting for VR films. The sheer amount of data that needs to be collected for just a short film is enormous. Also, the sets need to be arranged in such a way that filming equipment and behind the scenes apparatus cannot be seen. But if the industry can overcome these hurdles, VR could mean a new golden age for cinema.
When music videos were first launched in the 1980s, they revolutionized the way we consumed music. The pairing of an artistically shot video with cutting edge music took the industry to a whole new level. These days, however, the music video has started to fall by the wayside. Online streaming and busy lifestyles mean that people don’t need or want to watch the music video for each song they hear. This is where virtual reality comes in.
Artists such as Chemical Brothers, Björk and Queen are paving the way with the use of VR in the music industry by providing interactive music experiences that appeal to the millennial generation. From the live streaming of concerts, to virtual reality DJ tuition, the future of the music industry is being shaped by VR. This, in turn, pushes artists to innovate and create bigger and better experiences for fans. For instance, VR music videos provide a fully immersive experience that allows you to see what it would feel like to be in the front row of your favorite band’s biggest show.
VR is also making waves in the gaming industry, providing immersive online experiences that push the boundaries for designers and enable users to take their playing experiences to a whole new level. There are already VR games out there, from poker to Star Trek.
A lot of money is being spent on the research and development side of VR gaming, as at the moment the hardware associated with gaming can be bulky and cumbersome. But the potential for VR in the gaming sector is huge. VR headsets have already been improved so that they do not make the user feel nauseous, which means that players can stay immersed in their gaming experience for much longer.
VR gaming means that players are able to enter a game in real-time and experience a true feeling of involvement in an enriched game environment. With the industry predicted to be worth $90billion by 2023, VR is set to change the face of gaming as we know it.
Virtual reality has come a long way since the first few failed attempts in the 1980s. Whether you want to attend a VR festival, or go head to head with your biggest gaming nemesis, with powerful technology pushing VR experiences forward we can expect to have immersive experiences in all types of entertainment in the coming years.
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