As more and more VR headsets piled up under Christmas trees this past holiday seasons, speculators were left to wonder: is the VR craze revolutionary, or just a trend that will eventually flop like Google Glass before it?
The center of this discussion is accessibility. VR/AR/MR tech are exciting new developments. The possibilities are endless!—that is, if you’re a gamer or designer. For the rest of us, alternate reality headsets seem like the type of thing that would be fun for a few hours, and then collect dust. So, how can companies involved with –reality appeal to audiences who aren’t so invested in immersive gaming or interior design?
Everyone uses social media – why can’t VR/AR?
The answer, as it is with most things in our information age: social media!
VR already exists on a few social platforms. Every time you send an adorable Snapchat using the dog filter, you’ve used virtual reality. Another example: Facebook recently introduced Live 360, a more in-depth video experience. In addition to these pre-existing features, Facebook and Twitter have invested in VR technology, indicating the possibility of a more social experience.
Speaking of investments, Apple has been showing a lot of interest in augmented reality these past few months. The company is bound to integrate social media into whatever medium (AR glasses?) they dream up. After all, we check our iPhones for social updates about 80 times per second. What if we didn’t have to reach for our phones to read e-mails and keep up with notifications? An Apple-designed AR headset could close the gap between our newsfeed and our brains. Though the idea of a constant stream of notifications has been the subject of a few dystopian novels, it would be an innovative reality.
Social media are addictive. If the current state of VR isn’t enough to win everyone over, social media integration might be. Whether it’s elements of virtual reality, like we see with Snapchat filters, or an AR meets iOS type of experience, we can expect to see more social integration in future VR ventures.