Hackernoon logoThe Future of VR: An Arms Race for Attention - on Steroids by@FrederikBussler

The Future of VR: An Arms Race for Attention - on Steroids

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@FrederikBusslerFrederik Bussler

Democratizing data science.

"The Valve Index has almost everything we want in a next-generation PC VR headset. It delivers excellent image quality, believable VR presence and it has a revolutionary pair of motion tracking controllers." - Engadget

State-of-the-art virtual reality today is described as "excellent," "revolutionary," and "believable," while in 1935 VR was literally a sci-fi idea.

The Internet was also in science fiction stories before reaching half of Earth's population, with the average person spending 7 hours per day online.

Many of the most popular services we use today like Facebook and Google are entirely "free," but we give up our data to these systems to make improvements. Attention is the time we spend on these platforms, and therefore also the data we give up, which has long been described as the currency of the Internet.

As technology improves, attention becomes a more competitive landscape, and the amount of data we give up increases. In short, there's a multi-trillion-dollar fight for our attention, and our brains suffer by literally devolving. These technologies include 5G, which means faster connections, and higher-fidelity consumption of content that's 4K and on bigger, more colorful, more immersive displays.

While we're plugged into our laptops and phones more directly, we're also connected in the background with apps constantly pinging data back-and-forth and IoT devices capturing live information.

In our search for ever more immersive technology, the drive for virtual reality is obvious. As smartphones get bigger and bigger screens, there's clearly a limit. The newest Samsung Galaxy has a 6.7" display, but it can only get so big before it's uncomfortable. There's a bit of a gap to leap from smart phones to VR, but it will easily be bridged, in the same way as the evolution of phones.

No one wants to walk around with a bulging Nokia in their pocket, but once the iPhone was released, smartphones became a cool, normal thing to own. In the same way, current VR is more of a niche, hipster product.

Now imagine, a few years down the line, that VR has simply undergone a normal technological evolution and has become a slim, portable, fashionable product.

You can't exactly imagine everyone walking around with a box in front of their face, but you can imagine everyone walking around with VR glasses, or even better, a VR implant. When (not if) that happens, advertisers will again compete for our attention - but in a much more immersive playing field.


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