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One of the main aims of immersive technology is to engage us far beyond the realms of what we thought previously possible. The use of virtual reality augmented reality and even the 360-degree facility seen on sites such as Facebook and YouTube has certainly served to enrich and enhance our online experiences. As is the case with most technology-based discussion, there are different schools of thought when it comes to immersive technology such as virtual reality.
Has Immersive Technology Let Us Down So Far?
You could be forgiven for thinking that the immersive technology hype train has been left back in the depot for some time right now – some critics believe that up until now, virtual reality and its close relations haven’t delivered on the promises that were made many years ago when the technology burst onto the scene at the turn of the century. By the same token, it’s also true that different technologies move at different rates and that there is no real blueprint when it comes to technological success and advancement. With a number of recent, exciting developments, are we finally seeing the tech’s full potential?
Gaming and Immersive Technology Continue To Make Strides
Immersive technology has allowed gamers to interact with their environment like never before. Pokemon GO, Ingress and Temple Treasure Hunt remain as popular as ever thanks to their augmented reality functions and have added a whole new dimension to mobile gaming. In a similar fashion, live dealer casino games continue to get the juices flowing of online casino players through the use of HD webcam streaming. Next generation console favorite “No Man’s Sky” has now turned to virtual reality, with many commenting on how virtual reality has elevated the game to another level. Further afield, China’s newly founded VR arcades are proving to be hugely successful and look set on world domination. With their VR market estimated to be worth around US$782 million by 2021 (a 13 fold increase since 2016), they may well be the ones who drive immersive technology forward.
A Genuine Purpose?
Virtual Reality has dabbled in many different areas over the last few years and though it has undoubtedly had a visible impact on a number of industries, you could argue that its purpose and function is still up for debate. In Northern Ireland, the technology has recently been developed to create schemes which will help disabled people when it comes to casting their vote in their upcoming local elections. In addition to this, the technology is now being used to allow babies to breathe. Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) is now being examined as a tool to be used for the treatment of PTSD and other mental illnesses and phobias. With much of the focus surrounding virtual reality being entertainment based, perhaps a change of tact will see the technology reach its full potential in the coming years?
The Future of Immersive Technology Is Still Unwritten
It’s difficult to put a timescale on anything within the tech world. However, one thing that can be said with the utmost certainty is that the next decade is make or break for immersive technology. Those who argue that virtual reality and the like has run its course will be waiting in the wings to say “we told you so”, while proponents of the technology will cite the aforementioned developments as signs of encouragement. Either way, interesting times lie ahead in the industry for both the public and those working behind the scenes.
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