Handheld Technology

Virtual Reality (part 2): Where is it heading?

Where is Virtual Reality (VR) really heading short, medium and long-term? In the second of a three part series we consult a team of experts to learn their views.


“Virtual Reality has had its challenges. Like all new fields, the hype has been far ahead of the reality, even though the likes of Oculus and the Nintendo 3DS have broken new ground. One of the biggest problems the technology has faced so far is finding a way to prevent 3D from causing user headaches. This is caused by the brain’s confusion as it attempts to reconcile the imagery it is processing. With this obstacle solved, the way will be paved for VR to go mainstream.”

“In the coming years, Virtual Reality has the potential to completely revolutionise the way we live our lives. From the shopping mall to the board room, we will see, feel and hear in virtual 3D, just as we do in the real world.”

-          Amit Shah, Managing Director at Artiman, investor in zSpace


“Short-term: gaming, architectural visualisation, immersive experiences (such as cinema and tours).”

“Medium-term: shared collaboration environments. Possible remote work for dangerous and high risk environments. “

“Long-term: pervasive, everyone will own a mobile headset. Many will work 100% in VR from anywhere.”

“There is also huge potential for VR in the leisure market. In that walkers and cyclists can use VR to plot routes, as well as being able to give others the opportunity to experience places they may not be able to access or visit.”

-          David Haynes, iOS Developer, Ordnance Survey  


“In the short-term, VR devices will become ubiquitous, but will still be classed as geeky gadgets. Content is key and it is looking likely that this will be contributed mainly by the user community which will largely consist of tech savvy people. In the medium-term, especially as motion capture tracking improves the accuracy of data to deliver better immersive experiences, VR will start to become part of society as an accepted form of entertainment.”

“Long-term, new forms of entertainment will be developed that take advantage of the interactive nature of VR. Films, stories, games will have to work out how to break free from a strict narrative. People won't just go to see a film once, it'll be a whole different experience the 2nd, 3rd or 4th times they see it - A Holodeck.”

-          Warren Lester, Engineering product manager at Vicon


“VR is set to make its way into industries such as travel and retail, to boost the customer experience and build brand loyalty. For example, there are impressive features already being developed for passengers of long-haul flights, which will see passengers using VR headsets to watch films and take virtual tours during flights. What’s more, Lexus also developed a virtual reality driving simulator at its headquarters in Japan to test safety features.”

“In today’s digital era, enterprises of all types and sizes must adapt to new technologies and customer expectations or risk falling behind their competitors – this means embracing new technologies such as VR to offer an interactive and immersive customer experience. While VR has a playful aspect, that does not preclude its use in business applications — far from it. The future of work will look much like play at present, with enhanced virtual interactivity to make work compelling for all types of users and applications. As long as companies continue to embrace digital technologies in a strategic manner, VR could become a reality sooner than expected in a variety of sectors.”

-          Euan Davis, European Head, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant


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