January 5, 2018
Excited about Virtual and Augmented Reality? Me neither…
It’s January, the time of year when sites post articles with lists of hot marketing and tech trends for the upcoming year. However, after reading these articles over a period of time I’ve come to the conclusion that these lists are mostly garbage. They’re no more than tools companies use to push technologies or ideas they want to succeed. They must be! Why else would the keep pushing the same stuff on us year after year? How many times did experts tell us virtual reality is the next “big thing.” Or who can forget the summer when groups of people were roaming around playing Pokémon Go? The same experts said augmented reality was going to “change the way we interact with our world.” Here’s why virtual and augmented reality will still be lame in 2018.
I first came across virtual reality way back in 1992 while watching The Lawnmower Man at a friend’s house. I was eleven and thought it was the coolest thing ever. My friends and I couldn’t wait until virtual reality was used in our favorite video games. My nephew is currently eleven and recently got a virtual reality headset to play video games on his phone. We both tried it out and quickly stopped to play XBox instead. The headset felt clunky and very isolating. Even after getting over the shock value of the graphics, the entire experience feels kind of stilly. However, year after year we hear it’s virtual reality’s year although the technology never seems to be something the general public wants on a regular basis.
If you remember groups of people wandering around your neighborhood holding up phones during the summer of 2016 you’re familiar with augmented reality. It’s a technology that superimposes computer-generated images on a person’s view of the real word to create a composite view of both. Marketers told everyone then this technology has the power to “change the way we do business and interact with our world.” However, augmented reality has been around for several years. The first attempt at augmented reality was in 2012 with the much-hyped Google Glass. If you remember, Google predicted everyone would want to wear the super stylish eyewear (pictured above) so they could browse the web and do other tasks typically done on a cell phone or computer. Google Glass didn’t last very long the first time yet it’s putting our a Version 2.0 this year. Nevertheless, no one seems to have come up with a way to get the general public to adopt augmented reality.
This year won’t be virtual reality’s year. It won’t be augmented reality’s year either. There is still a definite resistance from the general public to adopt these technologies. Personally, I feel like it’s because the current generation wants the ability to set technologies down and take a break. However, as these types of interactive technologies continue to advance and younger generations offer less resistance to technological boundaries, virtual and augmented reality may catch on. We’ll just have to wait and see.