VR today will not be your VR of the future. We are still in the infancy of virtual reality technology, but the industry has made huge strides over the last three years.
Back then, we were ecstatic to put on VR goggles that had a grainy screen resolution. We could walk through a virtual building with no lighting or finishes. The fact that you could feel like you were in the building and experiencing the space like you would in the real world was the hot topic in the industry.
Fast forward to today’s VR experiences and the differences are immense and evolving. On the hardware side of things, screen resolution in the goggles has doubled, providing a better viewing experience. Many companies have also added built-in stereoscopic sound and hand controllers so that users can interact with objects in your VR world. For example, you can open cabinets or even move furniture to see how it would look in the space.
The increase in goggle performance has not gone to waste due to the life-like scenes that are being created by the newest gaming engines. The progress the gaming engines have had over the last couple of years truly let you see what your VR environment will look like with realistic materials and lighting. They have become so realistic that VR is now being used to design spaces and used throughout the process of a building project.
By giving this type of visual to different industries we serve, it reduces the time to make decisions for finishes, furniture, design elements, and more. It also allows project teams to avoid potential conflicts during the design phase.
And now, for the best part? The future. The biggest advancements to be here soon will be with the VR goggles – or the lack of. What I mean is an untethered, slimmed-down goggle that will mix VR and augmented reality to become a hybrid goggle to view mixed reality.
By combining these two technologies, you would be able to walk around an empty existing space without being confined by cables and view the fully built-out space instead of just a few objects.
To continue down the path of less is more, controllers will be replaced by – that’s right – your own two hands.
Software will be able to track virtually an unlimited number of gestures and interactions by your hands. By using your own hands, there is no learning of a controller, which could be confusing or difficult for users. It would feel more natural and life like.
Another software advancement will track your eyes, which means that your virtual character will now know what you are looking at in a VR scene, increasing the immersion experience.
The last big advancement will be one that I’m sure you’ve heard about lately: the integration of artificial intelligence into the VR world. By incorporating artificial intelligence technology into your VR experience, you change how you interact within the scene. You won’t have menu buttons to push in order to get a response in the VR world. This will now be done by speaking commands naturally, just like you do with Siri and Alexa today.
And just imagine this. You come into work and have your own VR assistant to help you perform tasks who never has to take a coffee break – brilliant! That reality is not that far away…