Virtual Reality has been hailed as an exciting development in technology, and with good reason. VR has opened new doors in gaming and entertainment, in healthcare, in visual creativity, and numerous other areas. It’s bringing about all kinds of fun and fascinating new experiences – and we’re probably still just scratching the surface of its potential. But while VR is generally discussed with an air of optimism and appreciation, it could also result in real problems for some industries. Basically, if VR is capable of replicating or enhancing some in-person experiences, it may also ultimately replace them.
But which industries could ultimately suffer as VR continues to improve and more people get on board? Keep an eye on these.
We may be in the early days of virtual reality, but already we’re starting to see some creative sports viewing options. At least one NBA owner has talked about the idea of allowing fans to watch games from the perspectives of players, for instance, and new sports like drone racing have emerged almost entirely because of VR. VR viewership options will be a boon to all those sports fans who may not be able to afford to go to their favorite stadiums or buy tickets for their favorite teams. But as VR becomes more commonplace, who’s to say we won’t also enjoy simulating the experience of simply sitting in an arena and watching a game? VR figures to be a cheaper and more versatile alternative to live attendance that could revolutionize sports viewership and destroy the industry as it currently exists.
There are already VR experiences that allow people to virtually tour attractions and destinations all the way across the world. There are also those that enhance tourist experiences at places of interests around the globe. Someone recently wrote on this topic that it won’t be long before you’ll ask yourself how you traveled without AR and VR. Well, it might also not be long before some people ask themselves why they travel at all. It’s sort of a sad thought. But when you can tour the world’s ancient sites, famous museums, glamorous attractions, etc. from the comfort of your own couch, you can at least narrow down your bucket list a little bit.
We’ve heard predictions of the casino industry’s demise before. People thought that the emergence of online poker rooms and slot arcades would kill casinos, yet most casino resorts are still reporting great tourism numbers and a high level of activity. But virtual reality might be a step too far. Online games have already grown more sophisticated by adopting 3D graphics, and as devices’ capabilities increase, so too do the possibilities available to developers in the business. It’s probable that in the very near future we’ll see not just online poker games or 3D slots, but fully immersive VR environments where numerous casino games can be played and the atmospheres of famous venues are replicated. This, more so than ordinary online gaming, could truly draw people away from actual casinos.
This is perhaps the industry that is closest to being transformed already by the VR phenomenon. VR is bringing the fitting room to your living room via tools and concepts that have been in development for well over a year. There are various ways that designers and retailers are going about using VR, but suffice it to say shopping for clothes from home has never been easier than it’s about to become. You’ll be able to browse racks, simulate fits, and virtually “try on” outfits without ever leaving home. Think of it as a more precise version of shopping online.