For many years I’ve been in/around the AR/VR/MR world, and despite industry hype, VR remains mostly a curiosity. People would often ask, “where’s the killer app?” that will help it break through. As we know from other emerging technology, the reasons that make/break a new capability are usually less about the tech details and more about the experience and creating a new “gotta have.”
I usually would reply that we need to nail telepresence – that feeling that when in a VR environment it really feels like you are there (as opposed to wearing a headset. Humans have a lot of perceptual cues that break telepresence, but if we’re motivated we can suspend disbelief (every screenwriter depends on this). Oddly enough, the pandemic may be the “killer app” for VR. With the massive swing to telecommuting, the ability to hold an effective virtual meeting is not a nice-to-have but now a gotta-have. So while we still have a lot of experiential (and some tech) issues to work out with VR, there is renewed motivation to make it work. One reason that VR telemedicine platform XRHealth has gotten a new chunk of funding. Because we have an end-game and use case that is here now and likely won’t go away.