Once the subject of futuristic wish lists, virtual reality is indeed becoming a reality.
The idea has always been intriguing. But its applications are beginning to become mainstream. Word broke in 2015 that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had done off-season work at his alma mater, Stanford University. Amazing sports fans and techies alike, Luck “practiced” his decision making and play calling against real NFL defensive schemes. The quarterback was able to play against teams he hadn’t yet seen, opening up the door for virtual reality in the sports world. Like other technologies in their infancy, virtual reality for the common man is perhaps more of a novelty than a practical tool. But that sentiment is quickly changing as its potential as a job creator is realized.
Companies like Samsung have notably added virtual reality capabilities to cell phones and video games. This is just the start of what could become a bona fide job creator.
The $2 Billion VR Investment
Virtual reality is no longer a niche fascination; even Mark Zuckerberg is confident in its capabilities. The Facebook founder bought VR startup Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Virtual reality is rapidly becoming the software platform to gain an edge in.
In the first quarter of 2017, more virtual reality jobs were posted than in all of 2016, according to SmartRecruiters. Almost half of those were American jobs. There is a growing demand for those looking to work in virtual reality. But does its growing popularity mean VR is a surefire investment? One intriguing aspect of the technology is its diversity in application. Still a relatively new technology, virtual reality’s limits in are at the mercy of the imagination.
It’s probably unrealistic to think VR won’t expand beyond a video game device or training tool. Virtual reality is too broad and too new not to be a leverage for business applications. Another key could be in the type of jobs the virtual reality field is currently demanding. Despite its appearance in stores and advertisements, most jobs available have to do with the technical development of virtual reality. This could be why top companies—Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.—have yet to launch their own versions of the technology. Virtual reality’s growing popularity among consumers is telling, especially when its applications are still in beta.
As companies break into the virtual reality field, expect advances far beyond a phone screen headset, however cool it may be now. Behind the scenes, a market is taking shape; with it, profit, jobs, and advancement. It’s not easy to predict the direction virtual reality will end up going, but for techies, investors, and those looking for jobs in the field, its growing popularity make it an intriguing choice.