I've been working in virtual reality for a year now! Here's what I've learned:
1. The industry is moving FAST.
I was using an Oculus DK2 last year and since then both Oculus and Vive have released consumer headsets and started working on wireless headsets, which is a total game changer.
2. Mobile is key.
Whether it's VR, AR, or another R, most people have access to a smartphone. However, a PC VR setup costing over $1,000 is just not accessible to some people.
3. All the R's (VR/AR/MR/XR, etc.) are awesome.
It seems like every couple of months there's another "R" added to the growing list. Although they're all slightly different, they all have value and should be experienced.
4. If you're a designer, you're now also a developer.
Let's say you're a UX/UI designer creating a new UI. How do you test it? You need to know how to test this in a game engine, most likely Unity or Unreal.
5. The community is amazing, especially the Women in VR community!
The VR community is friendly, supporting, and inclusive. We're all very excited about this new, exciting journey and are in it together. If you're a badass lady interested in VR, check out these resources:
6. We're in the experimentation phase right now.
Everybody is a beginner and sometimes nobody really knows what they're doing. Don't be afraid to jump in, learn the necessary skills, and start creating magic.
We've become so desensitized to people and environments in crisis. However, when you're experiencing something that's a 360 experience, there isn't anywhere to look away. Experiences such as Clouds over Sidra by Within, Factory Farm by Condition One, and RYOT'S coverage of both Standing Rock and the Women's March are amazing examples of using VR to instill empathy (hopefully enough to take action!) in people all over the world.
8. Many companies and brands are interested in VR, but don't know the best way to utilize it yet.
VR is this sexy, new thing that the marketing department just has to dip their toes in. But VR can be complicated and expensive, and a rushed 360 video that lacks a vision and/or story may not be the best way to reach new customers.
9. 360 video ≤ VR
A common discussion at industry events is the conundrum surrounding 360 videos and films. Is it VR? Is it video? Is it interactive? Can you walk around in it? Honestly it doesn't really matter, because innovations in 360 video (ahem, Adobe) that make monoscopic video 3D and volumetric are coming sooner than we think.
10. This is only the beginning.
People are discovering new ways to create, interact with, and share VR every day. I've heard the current state of VR be compared with black and white films many times. To propel this industry forward, we need more content creators, diversity, developers, funding, and overall, crazy ideas. So, what are you waiting for?
All gifs from https://giphy.com/