We’ve seen the meteoric rise of virtual reality in our modern time and it’s brought so much with it. Now, we’re seeing the adopters of this technology tell us about their true desires for the medium. They want a new way to explore movies and other visual media. The excitement surrounding VR has led to more than 20% of homes having at least one VR device, but it’s going to take more than that to get into the majority of homes. This is where the new wave of VR movies is going to finally bring us the virtual experiences we desire. The market is ready for this and the people are fired up for ways to utilize their devices.
The VR movies coming out are going to be experiments in what can best be described as unexplored territory. We’ve never seen something like this and we simply don’t have any good ideas to describe what’s about to happen. The history of cinema has brought all sorts of things to the forefront such as 3D and surround sound. This is going to be the next step for cinema which means there is going to be a need to change how we think about movies. They are going to become experiences we can fully appreciate in every way. It will no longer seem like we’re watching other people act. It will seem as if we are actually living our lives.
There is so much out there for people to see and experience with VR cinema, but most of it hasn’t been created yet. When the market finally matures we’re going to see people purchase headsets just to experience movies and games like they have never been able to in the past. This isn’t going to be an easy thing to understand, but it’s certainly going to play a key role in the entertainment of tomorrow. We’ll no longer think of entertainment as something to watch from a distance. We will integrate into our lives and memories. It will become integral to our identity and what we think of the world as a whole.
Virtual reality is an exciting new technology that isn’t actually new at all. For decades, various technology companies have attempted to make VR a consumer friendly experience, and for decades, those same companies have failed. The graphical and computational horsepower needed to make virtual reality a convincing experience has never been as affordable, and as available, as it is now. The financial and technical limitations that held VR back in the past no longer exist, and multiple tech heavyweights have thrown their headsets into the ring in a battle for VR supremacy. Samsung, HTC (along with Valve), and Oculus all have headsets currently on the market, with Sony’s Playstation 4 VR headset coming in the fall, and now Intel has decided to join the fray with its Project Alloy headset.
Intel has been the leader in microprocessors for years, fighting off vicious competition from AMD to stay at the top of the industry. Now they have a brand new fight on their hands, against competitors who already have more gaming expertise, such as HTC and Valve, or a large head start like the one Oculus has. Intel is hoping that the main thing that sets Project Alloy apart from its competition, the fact that it’s completely wireless, will grab the attention of media members, as well as consumers, who may already be suffering from VR fatigue. Intel is also banking on their relationship with Windows to help them on the software side, with Microsoft’s Holographic operating system platform being featured on Project Alloy. There are still plenty of questions that remain unanswered regarding Project Alloy, as Intel didn’t give very many details regarding the hardware specifications or pricing and availability.
The virtual reality market is quickly becoming overcrowded, with no less than four different headsets all fighting over the same general market. Intel obviously has the marketing and research budget to decide whether or not entering this space is a smart business decision, but you have to wonder if consumers feel the same way about the Intel brand as they do about Samsung, HTC or Oculus. Intel has a sterling reputation among PC hardware enthusiasts, but do mass market consumers have the same loyalty? That remains to be seen.