Virtual reality, 360 video and augmented reality are all just tools. While the technology is fascinating and revolutionary, it's what we DO with the technology that will transform our lives.
Make VR Accessible
Since the obsession with VR began a few years ago, there's been a movement to make it as accessible to people as possible. Google Cardboard, Oculus and other hardware manufacturers immediately started designing low cost hardware options, with the goal of bringing VR to the public masses from the start, rather than making it a luxury item like the iPhone.
Up to this point, the technology itself has been the big draw. Just putting on a headset and being transported to another world, or another scene is incredibly impressive. It can even be a little shocking. Even technology nerds are surprised with how they feel when they put on a VR set, it has the ability to make you feel like there is more to this world than you think. Even if the app is mediocre, and the scene is imperfect, just experiencing the VR basics is remarkable. And it's rare (and refreshing) that we are impressed with it. New technology has become an expectation rather than a pleasure.
Show us what's possible
But when the initial novelty wears out, we'll have to start using VR/AR in more interesting and thought provoking ways. Without that, VR will go the way of the QR code; incredibly underutilized and remembered for it's weird inability to catch on.
In order to understand what's truly possible with VR we need to start putting the tools it in the hands of visionaries. Not technologists (sorry Elon!) but artists, creators and people who can see the potential in things that don't exist yet.
Artists who inspire
There are already many futurist artists doing this. We're looking at you Bjork. Our latest favorite inspiration comes from Morning Teleportation, a group of musicians from Bowling Green, KY. In collaboration with Los Angeles-based duo WATTS, the group released their new video which is a dreamlike, interactive 360˚ experience that allows you to take a bicycle ride and float through water.
Take a look. Be inspired.