VR Learning: How Virtual Reality Will Democratize Learning
In case you haven’t heard, there is a lot of hype right now about virtual and augmented reality. Three months into 2016, investors have already spent 1.1 billion dollars to get a piece of the action.
All this money, but no revenue and, in large part, no clear market.
There are some good signs that 2016 really will be the year that VR gets widespread adoption, or at least the year we start to see the development of a consistently expanding base of consumers and use cases. Over thirty virtual reality films debuted at Sundance. Well-known artists like Reggie Watts and Justin Lin, director of ‘The Fast and The Furious,’ have put out virtual reality shorts. Even Stephen Spielberg seems to be looking to get into the game — he has signed on to be an advisor to Virtual Reality Company (VRC), which has developed an immersive virtual reality experience to go along with Ridley Scott’s The Martian.
So far only a small subset of the general population have been exposed to this new round of virtual reality experiences, but in 2016 that number will grow significantly.
Nevertheless, it is still too early to tell whether or not VR will catch on while the hype lasts. Perhaps funding will dry up and development will slow. Sales may flatline and big companies like Facebook and Samsung might even pull back on their commercial offerings, like Google did with Glass, and bring their programs back to the drawing board.
I don’t think anything so drastic will occur, but the point is we cannot predict the tides of the market with accuracy. It’s possible that the technology is not sophisticated enough or that headsets are currently priced too high to be commercially viable.
Still, I am confident that virtual reality will revolutionize how we learn, and the reason is simple. Virtual reality is not just a technology, it’s a medium. And I’ve seen how powerful that medium can be.