How Virtual Reality has Changed Over the Last Decade

Top image: Tron vs. Tron Legacy Top image: Tron vs. Tron Legacy

The other day, Second Life celebrated its 10-year anniversary. But long before that venerable virtual world came into existence, we were dreaming up images of virtual reality and cyberspace.

Top image: Tron vs. Tron Legacy

It seems like there are a few basic ways to represent “cyberspace” and virtual reality. You can have basic reality, with the occasional glitches or incongruities. You can create a surreal dreamscape that is clearly not “reality” as we know it. You can use actual computer graphics, or try to approximate computer graphics somehow using animation. Or you can just go for something extremely cartoony.

As computer animation and CG effects became more sophisticated, in the 1990s, the scope for film-makers and designers to create “computerized” looking worlds became greater — but by some point in the late 2000s, CG animation and motion-capture start being convincing enough that we no longer accept a virtual world that looks obviously computer-y or excessively 8-bit. To some extent, the evolution of our imagery around virtual worlds reflects our increased computing power and our greater sophistication when it comes to imagining our interactions with computers in general.

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It’s hardly unbelievable that today with our 360AR Virtual Changing Room, we can actually see 3D clothing on our bodies. That combined with standing next to 3D fashion models like Anina,  it’s only natural that the lines between reality and fashion are starting to blur. What does this offer the industry outside of entertainment and wow effect? Let’s list out a few items here:

  • Seeing the clothing in 360 degrees when it’s not convenient to change clothes
  • Click to buy the item directly from an object
  • Social Media push and interactions with attendees
  • Virtual gift that guests can take home and enjoy in their own home
  • Additional information such as video, photo, text in the right moment, in the exact location where the object is, when the attention of the shopper is relevant
  • A direct purchase
  • A discount to be redeemed in the store (foot traffic to the store)

It is estimated that by 2015, Augmented Reality will become a $600Million dollar business and a common day, seamless technology, embedded in our daily tools for viewing the world: glasses, cars, phones, store windows and more. The way we view reality will no longer be limited by physical information only. We will cut down on paper flyers, handouts, posters, and change the way we view billboards.