We’ve been talking about virtual reality for decades. But when is it coming? Will it revolutionize the way we live and communicate on a daily basis?

I think a future with VR (virtual reality) in it is inevitable. I think most people would agree with that. One day, be it 5 or 500 years from now, VR will seep into our lives and become a part of our day to day.

The hard part, and the thing investors, entrepreneurs, and startups are betting on is the speed of adoption. How long until virtual reality disrupts everything and changes the way we live?

Virtual reality, much like any other new age technology, falls under this same trap:

We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.

Technologists would bet on 5 years until we see VR in our day to day lives. Some would say, just wait 5 months. Take the opposite perspective and think of people outside of the technology bubble. The people who are not addicted to their smartphones. At least not as bad. They would probably have no idea. They would probably not want to hear it.

Generally, it falls somewhere in the middle. But is now the time?

We’ve been “on the edge” of a virtual reality driven world for years. Check out this commercial from 1991! Yes, 1991! Look familiar? Is that person wearing a beefed up Oculus or not?

You see. We all know we are on the edge of a disruptive technology. Have you had the chance to play with a virtual reality headset? It is incredible. Few words can describe the immersive experience other than completely game changing.

But why are we not using it all the time?

Well, I think we are starting to. VR is becoming more and more common as price points decrease and more and more applications and games roll out for the system.

Developers and investors are starting to go all in on the technology. Take it back, they already are!

Aside, at Scaphold we are building the fastest way to build apps of all kinds, including VR — check it out!

So how will VR integrate into our lives? We have to believe that gaming is really just a small part of the equation. Video gaming on VR is a minor, if in the long run insignificant aspect of the effects of virtual reality on our lives.

Let’s talk consumers first.

VR is 10x more enjoyable than looking at a screen to perform most tasks. Try it out. Is it 10x more convenient? Definitely not. At least not yet. But if we can get to the point where the decision is simply to choose between watching a television versus wearing some sort of headset — everyone will choose the latter. It is a much better experience.

So much so that more and more of our daily “screen-looking” activities will be replaced by VR headsets.

Michael Siebel, of YCombinator writes,

  1. Because VR is so immersive, I can imagine myself spending significant amounts of time (hours) with a headset on, every day. As a result, gaming will not be the only significant use case for VR. My headset will steal time time from other screens (tv/laptop/phone) and as a result there will be an explosion of VR consumer apps, entertainment apps, developer tools, and more.

This is a huge long term opportunity for many parties. Things get even more exciting when you look at augmented reality as well as business to business applications.

Think manufacturing, healthcare, education…the list goes on and on. VR will have compounding effects in these spaces.

The question I ask is when is it coming? How do we accelerate the inevitable?

Will VR make us lazier? More productive?

Originally published at Jordan Gonen.

By jordangonen on January 14, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.