After years of anticipation and vivid imagination, industry experts are confident that the tech world is finally on the brink of introducing consumers to the kind of virtual reality technology they only dreamed about.
The past few years in tech have seen incredible advancements and exponential growth.
Cars are able to park themselves. Phones know more about us than our friends and family do. Google claims to have the technology to build an elevator to space. Printers have gone from printing out family photos and research papers to spitting out figurines and prosthetic arms.
Needless to say, tech has come a long way.
The good news is that the moment they have been truly waiting for, perhaps even more than the flying car, could finally be peeking over the horizon.
The age of virtual-reality sets could finally be here.
Virtual reality got off to a bit of a false start when Oculus Rift was first announced back in 2012, but since then the growth of this technology has seemed slow. Rumors of any breakthrough have yet to spark a massive whirlwind of media attention online.
According to Tim Sweeney, however, things are about to change.
Sweeney, the man who started Epic Games and is hailed as the “father of the modern gaming industry,” believes virtual reality is about to change the world.
“There are some amazing things happening in VR right now, and a lot of them haven’t seen the light of day publicly at all,” Sweeney said during a phone interview with Engadget. “But next year is going to just be a watershed time for VR.”
There have been a few industry moves that suggested big things were happening with virtual reality, but nothing that seemed too exciting without someone like Sweeney backing it up.
Facebook paid $2 billion to purchase Oculus VR in 2014, and other tech giants, including Samsung, Valve, Google, Microsoft and Sony, have also started delving into the world of virtual reality.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, virtual reality stole the show with demonstrations of 360-degree monster films and stunning flight simulators.
But that isn’t the full extent of the possibilities of virtual reality, according to Sweeney.
“It’s going to change the world,” he said. “The hardware is going to double in quality every few years for another decade, to the point where, 10 years from now, it’s going to be hard to tell the difference between virtual reality and the real world.”