Just How Big Could Virtual Reality Become in the Next Decade?

As a technology only now taking its first real steps into viability, we have to wonder exactly how far virtual is going to reach into our daily personal and professional lives. After all, there was a time when computers were first introduced when many understated their potential use and levels of adoption, and we saw similar developments after the introduction of the smartphone.
So, what potential does VR really hold, and what might we expect from it in the future?

The most obvious answer – and the one which has pushed it so visibly into the mainstream – is that of potential domination of the gaming market. Sony has released their own device with the PlayStation VR, as detailed by TechRadar, and other industry leaders have been similarly eager in their adoption.
While so far many of the biggest games released for these systems are simple ports of already existing properties, the long-term potential has led to an ever-expanding indie market with great promise. Once the technology becomes cheaper, and a few breakout hits gather more attention, we predict major gaming franchises taking the leap into VR proper.
Another use which we are personally excited for comes from the potential of tourism and exploration. Travel is expensive and prohibitive based on health, time constraints, and a wide variety of other factors after all. High-quality virtualizations of popular destinations could enable realistic engagement from the other side of the planet and could allow us opportunities we could never manage in real life.

Chicago’s Michigan Avenue 360 VR timelap” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by BrentDPayne
Owing to the virtual environments, this could even be taken a step further into the world of the fictional. Imagine being able to explore the Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings, taking a trip through one of Lottoland’s list of richest fictional characters homes or maybe Scrooge McDuck’s pool of treasure and gold coins, or watching the Avengers fight off an alien invasion from the top of a skyscraper. All of these options and more become possible with VR technology, so it’s only a matter of time until a developer chooses an environment we care about.

Also important are the uses which VR could have in real-life applications. Through using VR, for example, it will be possible to accurately design a house from scratch and see how it actually feels to be inside it, or take a walk through an already existing property without ever having to visit in person. In terms of design, this opens up an entirely new world and could lead to developments which might never have been conceived of while using traditional paper or computing methods.
The final development, which we have already seen take shape with hilarious but promising programs like VRChat, is the potential which could be uncovered in communication. With VR it will be possible to talk with friends or family in a method far more intimate than traditional telephone calls, and that is just the start. Appear as yourself, or take the guise of your favorite fictional character, spend quality time together, and otherwise just hang out. The opportunities in bringing people together across great distances have always been a primary quality of the internet, and VR could make this better than ever before.
As for when exactly we will see these take shape in the mainstream, that is difficult to tell. What we know is that early versions of many of these technologies and applications already exist, and within ten years we wouldn’t be surprised to see many of these devices hold a place as an important tool within many modern homes.

15 thoughts on “Just How Big Could Virtual Reality Become in the Next Decade?”

  1. I sit on the couch in Wayne manor and relax every day in vr. There are problems with vr that they must overcome if it will change the world. It’s very hot under that helmet after 10 mins any sweat you produce fogs up the screen causing constant breaks from vr to wipe the screen kinda ruining the immersive vr experience. Probably damn near impossible to play vr without air conditioning. Also the motion sickness can be unreal, in most games it’s fine but if you have a jump button like in Skyrim be prepared to lose your lunch.

    1. Also as dumb as it sounds you can develop PTSD from playing VR. After getting stabbed through the hand with a screwdriver, your arm cut off with a chainsaw, or eaten alive in some of these horror vr games it can take a toll on your mental state.

      1. I do not believe VR will be submersive enough until they include all 5 senses. I feel like it very gimmicky as you can not feel anymore in VR, your legs arent moving when you walk, you cant feel the world around you, nor can you smell or taste it. Catering to 1 or 2 (sight and sound) of the 5 senses we use to navigate the real world is a far cry from a virtual reality. To me, its on par with sitting to close to the tv. Dont get me wrong, its a neat concept, VR, but I just dont see it ever becoming what we would hope, in our lifetime. I think this techs future is in design and engineering.

        1. It will never be the matrix or like we see in movies. But they have tactile suits and gloves in the works that will include touch which would be neat.

          1. Ya, that would be neat. Touch and free movement with my own legs would be integral to enjoy the experience, for me.

    2. Years ago, when the VR Boy from Nintendo was discontinued, Toys R Us marked them down to .99 cents and the games at .50 cents each. I couldn’t help but pick one up and play the games. That thing was so uncomfortable. I have a cheap pair of goggles now that works great with the high red screen on my iPhone 10 XS Max. My kids love watching the roller coaster movies and Five Nights with Freddy videos on YouTube made for VR. It’s neat but yes they get sweaty.

    1. Just depends on what pill you want to take. I put up the VR video as part of my NYCC wrap up. It’s something I have been interested in for a long time. I know it doesn’t fit here necessarily but the use for comics too is amazing. There is a VR comic app I heard was being worked on where you would be emerald in the panel. Like looking around inside the panel.

      1. Was it a Simpsons cartoon where Homer was using VR to virtually sleep in a hammock?
        That’s what I want to see..but instead is sleeping I want to be reading an original copy of
        ‘Tech 27.

  2. give me ther ed pill please?or was that the blue pill?um oh yeas can’t say thsat red and blue pillsl.o.l. love you guys blind adam

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