Here’s my list of expectations after thinking for 10 minutes about potential use cases for VR after it’s widely adopted. This all should be obvious because I haven’t played with VR almost at all, and even haven’t read any science fiction books about it.
We will pay more attention to real life tactile experiences and smells. I also expect companies to build tech that will trick our brains and sensations. Sound surround systems might see a huge revival, not only for home cinema and gaming cases like it is now.
More people will want to spend more time in VR, be it leisure, work, studying, communication, travel, government interaction. “Why can’t it be an website?” turned to be “Why can’t it be an app?” and will turn into “Why can’t we do it over VR?”
Kids spending all of their free time with PCs (like myself in mid 90s) will turn into them spending all of their free time with VR. Expect parental control functionality on the platforms.
Publicity will be making fun, mocking, critiquing and resisting VR as fake and unnatural expriences, that are detrimental to human health.
Seeing anyone wearing a VR headset in public will feel super awkward at first. We might see it less and less though, because VR in theory should reduce the need to travel even more so compared to screens.
Public science making “discoveries” that our brains were developed in a way to expect much more sensational impact compared to all of the tech for tricking the brain.
Expect funny pictures with red imprints of the VR helmets on people’s faces (there will be a term for it — the “VR burn”), like we have today with elbow marks on the thies after checking your Instagram feed for too long while going for the second.
VR travel startups might compare themselves to traditional travelling on these points: cheaper (9.99 vs 999), faster (better say instant, because no travel to the destination is required), safer and trouble free (no airplane or car accidents, no twisted ankles), richer (see the best spots, without crowds, in the peak of a season), unachievable otherwise (jump over the Colosseum, climb the Eifel tower, swim in the volcano), better for the environment, liberating (don’t have to be a millionaire to fly to space).
But to properly trick the brains I think travel VR will put people through some sort of a short commute.
There might be business chains or partnerships that will make sure people in different locations experience the same sensational impressions. Imagine you’re meeting a business partner for a dinner in VR, and you can have exactly the same food in a similar surrounding.
I think we will have some devices that will record the moments like celebrations, events or meetings in a spatial way. Imagine putting several or a few dozen 360 degree cameras in a triangular arrangement inside a meeting room, living room, school drama hall, concert venue etc. that will connect to each other and record the spatial video material.
Venues and airplane companies will start loosing profits.
Personal gurus will be selling online VR courses for just 69,99.
I think 3D design is the new web design from the 90s and the new video montage from 2010s. Probably one of the most useful skills to start learning now.
Whoever builds the most attractive tech for personal human communication will be as big as Facebook now. Then we’ll see someone making Slack for VR, meaning you can use it in a work context.
VR will replace iPads as the tech of choice for staying in touch with one’s grandchildren.
We will laugh again that porn industry paved the way for all of this to happen. This industry is truly feeding on human’s nature with probably the most strongest basis for addictions (recreation), so no wonder.
What is seen as a game now will become serious business in some years. Same as with the kids tinkering with BASIC before everyone had PCs.
I think government and police can utilize VR for truth checks. There probably are some behaviors that we fallback to when we’re surrounded with a stressful arrangement. Might be helpful for interrogations.
I really hope we all will be surprised by some things that are completely not obvious today.