Virtual Reality has had masses of attention over the past few years, and has gained immense popularity. Shawn Cheng, an investor with venture capital firm Vayner, said he expects VR to reach mainstream, which he defines as the point when roughly one-fourth to one-third of the population has a headset in their living room, in the last half of 2018. Virtual Reality is a great big pie that will only grow larger. So far, we’ve seen Facebook (via their purchase of Oculus), Google, HTC, and Samsung claim a slice of the VR pie.

VR app developers are experimenting with haptic feedback using gloves and handheld controls, and in 2017 we expect more time and resource to be spent on developing inputs for touch and smell. It’s not just home entertainment that will be fundamentally changed by the emergence of VR; sports, shopping, theme parks, you name it – Virtual Reality will leave an imprint on just about every social activity possible.

We know that big companies, such as Dell, are also trying to get a piece of the action. Dell have been working on their very own VR business trying to bring the this creation to the masses. The idea is to make the technology used to build it more affordable, and widely available to the general public. We should be thanking those who are investing in VR so it can flourish, driving down costs to allow more of us to get our hands on it!

VR allows users to be part of a completely immersive experience, and this is something brands are already trying to tap into, under increasing pressures in conventional advertising streams.

John Lewis has created two virtual reality experiences as part of its “Buster the boxer” Christmas advert, and set up in the Oxford Street store. The shoppers in the store, can step onto the trampoline and put Oculus Rift headset on. The setup was also kitted out with a Leap Motion detector, this then communicates with a Kinect camera opposite to sense where the users hands are. The user then can then controls the two foxes, badger, hedgehog and squirrel that appear in the ad, and takes them into a magical world of dancing animals!

Despite several large scale initiates by the world leading tech companies trying to bring VR into the masses, the gamers will be the ones continuing to drive the VR market. This can could change if the market leaders try and focus their attention on trying to solve problems through VR, such as education and healthcare. VR headset shipments will continue to grow in the years ahead, driven by the introduction of new content that will appeal to a broad range of users, all over the world.


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