Virtual reality technology

In 2014 the real and virtual world are set to combine with virtual headsets and simulated environments becoming actual entities

“The opportunities to merge real and virtual, for reasons of both business and leisure, will be enormous.”

For a long time, virtual reality has occupied the realm of the impossible as developers have struggled with the lack of hardware available to create an augmented world. However 2014 sees this all change; just this month a San Francisco-based virtual technology firm, Oculus VR, secured a staggering $75m from a venture capital investor to fund the development of its Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, and work towards its launch.

This major vote of confidence is expected to span 2014 with futurists and tech expects now deeming virtual experiences a ‘reality’ rather than a fruitless pursuit.

Oculus is not alone in its desire to create a virtual reality headset and Sony has also joined the race, last week it issued a patent for a virtual device that will be able to detect objects, simulate blinking and body movement, and event track your body posture.

How it works

Virtual reality technology uses computer simulated devices to create an environment that makes you feel that you are simultaneously in both the real and imagined world. It uses screens, speakers and 3D systems to enable you to immerse yourself in an alternate reality and although the technology is still in R&D, in 2014 the futurist concept will be realised, or at the very least within reach.

This technology also extends to 3D robotics which will become more apparent in the next year with innovative firms such as the aptly-named 3D Robotics, which specialises in making computer drones, recently raising multi-million dollar funding from a group of leading investors.

With several tech giants in the TV, video and gaming industries all vying to enter this market first and over 40,000 of Oculus’ headset units already out with developers, virtual reality is one of the largest trends for 2014 and one which takes us into new territory.


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Gareth Robinson, CEO of www.DiscountVouchers.co.uk:

“In 2014, […] I believe it could also be the year that retailers finally embrace offering highly immersive experiences through technology such as ‘augmented reality’.

Tom Cheesewright, applied futurist and founder of Book of the Future:

“The real worlds and virtual worlds merge. The internet becomes like a sixth sense, feeding you directions, messages and useful information in your peripheral vision. “Avoid this restaurant, there have been reports of food poisoning on Twitter.” “There’s a shop straight ahead that has all the items on your shopping list.” “Your friend David is 250 metres on the right”.

“The opportunities to merge real and virtual, for reasons of both business and leisure, will be enormous.”

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