The third annual VRLA, an event where VR creators and enthusiasts gather, was held on 29th August at Los Angeles Convention Center. At the event, virtual reality technology transported over 2,000 attendees to different countries and dimensions. The event showed the growing interest among individuals regarding this technology. VRLA showed the many experiences of VR which people could enjoy once the technology goes mainstream.
Shift in Momentum
At the VRLA, attendees stood in queues to try out the VR experiences which were available. They had to wait for more than an hour in those queues for their turn. This proves how the interest has grown over the years, since virtual reality technology initially came into being.
Cosmo Scharf, co-founder of VRLA told the sold-out crowd at the beginning of the day, “It really feels like the momentum has shifted. More people care about VR today than ever before.”
Scharf said that there are 733 VR companies at present in the US. He also added that more than $800 million has been raised in funding by VR startups, since 2010.
Different VR Experiences
At the VRLA, different scenes were visible which included people experiencing virtual reality in different forms. In one experience, a man was suspended a few inches over the floor, from a swing-like device pretending that he was flying. Another experience showed two guys apparently racing each other in cars with a speed of over 100 mph, while in the real world they both sit still.
All of them were experiencing virtual reality in their own way.
Events Provide More Interactive Experiences
You can experience VR on smartphones now with the help of VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and Noon VR. However, if you are interested in experiencing virtual reality in a more immersive way, you can attend such events until high powered systems are launched next year. These powerful headsets will be able to immerse you in a better way in the virtual environment.
Sony and Oculus VR have plans to launch retail editions of their VR headsets early next year. HTC and Valve are expected to release their headset Vive later in 2015.
Though VR is improving drastically, still there is challenge to bring potential customers to try out this technology.
Ivan Blaustein, director of product integration at VRcade said, “The biggest marketing challenge facing the whole virtual reality industry is that you can’t experience VR until you experience VR. That’s why an event like this is important for us.”
He added “I think there’s room for all types of VR. There are compelling experiences you can have at home, but there’s always going to be limitations. With our system, there’s a dedicated space and no wire. You won’t have to move your couch or kick your cat out of the way.”
VRcade was the most popular exhibitor at the VRLA. It is a wireless multiplayer VR system which is not intended for home use.
What do you think?
What’s your take on virtual reality? Do you think it will go mainstream in the coming years? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – virtualrealityla.com