I had my first experience of VR at a conference, Samsung had a huge stall advertising their new Galaxy headset, I originally went over for the free chocolate (it wasn't Galaxy - marketing opportunity missed!) and ended up being encouraged to try out their new headset.
I try many new things, I like to think it keeps me young, I was hopeful for an enjoyable experience having never tried it before.
I put on the headset and darkness descends...
It's an eerie experience knowing you're surrounded by people and two of your senses have suddenly been taken over, you feel almost vulnerable - not an experience I'm used to but an interesting one.
This particular VR experience is based on Marvels Ironman, you fly through buildings, dodge broken glass, deflect rockets and watch as your fellow Avengers deal with countless enemies. All whilst in slow motion and allowing you spin around and look at your environment in a full 360 º.
As soon as the visual and auditory experience begins your immediately immersed in your new reality, your body knows where it is but the mind is being bombarded with sensory overload... I loved it. The downside was that I couldn't control the experience.
Games like SuperHot, whilst still ever so slightly unpolished, offer a much richer experience - full body movement, controllers, the huge intensity in spots and freedom to make choices. 2018 will be a huge year for VR, as the technology advances and becomes more accessible for developers and users alike, we will see it become more and more prevalent in our everyday lives.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality obviously have a lot of similarities, I mentioned using AR in my Augmented Reality blog and its educational purposes.
I'm watching the world of VR closely, as you can imagine, games get the most attention because of their commercial aspect, education, however, is also seeing lots of investment, particularly from the likes of Google with their Google Translate.
Another cool app is Virtual Speech VR and I wish I'd heard of it before I struggled with public speaking, the app simulates a photorealistic environment of a crowd or 1-2-1 situations, it may have helped the terrifying experience of my school show and tell's or my early job interviews, maybe even if I get that rarest of chances to perform a TEDx Talk.
VR is the definitive experiential development in the world of tech and I'm looking forward to what the future brings, in entertainment, education and in business.
I hope you enjoyed my blog on VR, as always - if you have an interest in VR or applications in general then please feel free to get in touch.