This year I bought an Oculus rift VR headset and after using it for the past 6 months I have quite a few thoughts on this wondrous device.
Firstly at the very basic level, this is the best toy ever invented, I really wish these were a thing when I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. The ability to make you feel like you are somewhere entirely different is quite extraordinary. In terms of games, you are no longer looking at a game on a screen, there is no longer that detachment from being separated from the game world by a screen, you are actually in the game, it surrounds you. You can look around things, under them, over them. These virtual worlds now have depth and distance and scale. That great Viking style city in Skyrim you went to many times in the 2D version now leaves you in awe as you stand for a moment and look up at the gates of a mighty citadel, craning your neck back to take it all in like you are seeing it for the first time. This is absolutely the future of gaming. But is VR also the future of digital as a whole? Possibly, and here’s a couple of reasons why.
Imagine not just viewing a website but being inside it, walking around it, touching and interacting with it. The future digital spaces may just become places you visit rather than look at. For convenience sake, I don’t think traditional 2d screens are going anywhere soon but there are many businesses that would benefit from VR experiences attached to the customer journey. Something like online furniture shopping would be dramatically changed as you could see the actual size and scale of an object before you buy it, you can look at it from any angle and see what it would look like with other pieces of furniture or even colour schemes. Imagine one day you can’t be bothered to go all the way to Ikea so you pop your VR headset on and have a look around from the comfort of your own home. You could even have private spaces where you could select the dimensions of a room and then arrange vr versions of items you are interested in to see what they would look like.
Client meetings, instead of on Skype, could be in a whole host of virtual spaces which could lead to a more relaxed and personable experience for everyone involved. The possibilities and new challenges from a digital agency standpoint are incredibly interesting. All these new angles and possible design decisions could potentially change the face of the modern digital agency…or then again it might not and we all just ignore those practical applications and just slice neon boxes in half with lightsabers to the thumping beat of techno instead, prancing around our living rooms with a black box on our head.
The most fun I’ve had in years.