There are times in business where advances in several different disciplines converge and bring about a revolution. These moments are rare but are growing in frequency as the pace of technology and business continues to accelerate. Some examples include online search, social media, and the emergence of user generated content such as blogs and online video. Each of these sea changes was brought about by a combination of improvements in technology and a lowering of the costs of doing business. Companies and clients that had the foresight to recognize the potential of these movements became leaders in there respective fields.
Virtual Reality is quickly approaching as the next big revolution and ImmerGen Studios believes that now is the time for clients to dive into this emergent medium.
In the past, the cost and complexity of implementing a quality virtual reality experience was limited to fortune 100 companies, large universities and the US government. With the next generation of VR this barrier has been be lifted. Utilizing technology developed for the mobile phone industry, such has high quality displays and motion detection, VR hardware engineers have made enormous strides in VR quality while simultaneously lowering the cost of production. The Oculus RiftTM development kit 2 sells for $350.00 and the commercial version of the headset is expected to sell for a similar price when it is released. The Gear VR headset, a commercially available Oculus VR® and SamsungTM product for use with mobile phones, sells for around $199.00. Although these headsets make up only part of a VR system it has been a significant expense of virtual reality in the past that is now affordable.
Another significant factor in bringing down the cost of VR is the reduction in the cost of producing virtual reality programs. Until recently, the cost of developing VR experiences with quality graphics and interactivity was limited to a few large firms. Much like digital publishing in the 1990s, a significant drop in software and hardware costs have democratized the industry. It is now possible for smaller, independent development firms to produce quality experiences without the multi-million dollar price tag.
Many factors are converging on the promise of affordable, high quality virtual reality. The dream of many is now coming to fruition. Clients that recognize the transformative potential of VR and understand the technical and economic opportunity will lead the way in this emerging medium.