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It takes strong leaders to bring technology into the mainstream

It takes strong leaders to bring technology into the mainstream

Every now and then we report on our ambitions in the field of Virtual Reality. However, it seems so far that the majority see it (only) as part of the gaming industry – which means the various applications of virtual reality remain undetected. To change this status quo, Virtual Reality needs a strong player to make the technology benefit and lead us into the mainstream. Let’s not forget, there were times when the industry thought that even the Internet would be a flop.

For quite some time now we have been impressed and convinced on the capabilities of Virtual Reality and the future which it shall bring. On these grounds, we were pleased to read (April 15th) that Mark Zuckerberg launched a question-and-answer session on his Facebook page with 31,841,185 followers. So, what do you ask the maker of a community with 1.39 billion (as of December 31st, 2014) users? Brian Ka asked the following…

Brian Ka: What is your vision of Oculus?

Mark Zuckerberg: Our mission is to give people the power to experience anything. Even if you don't have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do. This will be incredibly powerful as a communication medium as well. Just like we capture photos and videos today and then share them on the internet to let others experience them too, we'll be able to capture whole 3D scenes and create new environments and then share those with people as well. It will be pretty wild.

"To experience anything". This alone sounds very promising. Mark Zuckerberg discusses Virtual Reality by taking this gaming subject and pushing it to the mainstream-facebook-public. In doing so, Zuckerberg makes Facebook a financially strong driving force for Virtual Reality with real horse power.

The idea, however, is not exactly new. The marketing sector has been wooing customers and other interested parties and in doing so, also getting them on board. For example in 2014, BMW Motorrad introduced Eye Ride with a virtual test drive. Multiple cameras filmed the exit of a motorcyclist in a 360° all-round view. Visitors to the BMW Motorrad Days 2014 then sat with Oculus glasses on a BMW R nineT and re-experienced this exit.

The ITB Berlin in 2015 was more or less a Virtual Reality event. Examples such as "The View From The Shard", the viewing platform at London's famous skyscraper by Samsung Gear VR (an Oculus version with smartphone); and Lufthansa tested the business class.

So there are some strong supporters, led most famously by Mark Zuckerberg, who reacted to the following facebook comment: