2019 looks set to be a make or break year for Virtual Reality. 2018 saw a wealth of new products hit the market, but nothing truly innovative enough to finally push VR into the mainstream. Will 2019 be the year that breaks this trend? Here are five things to look out for in the coming months:
CES 2019 saw a range of new VR headsets on display. HTC’s Vive Pro Eye updates the already premium quality HTC Vive Pro with new Tobii eye-tracking, paving the way for hands-free control of immersive experiences. Elsewhere, the Pico G2 4K looked to bring true 4K resolution to VR, while Oculus unveiled the pioneering Oculus Quest.
The Oculus Quest may be VR’s best chance to go mainstream in 2019. A true standalone headset, the Quest removes the need for a powerful and expensive PC or console to power your VR experience. Small, light, and reasonably priced, the Quest could be just what VR needs.
Walking the walk
Among the most intriguing peripherals on show at CES 2019 was the 3DRudder for PSVR and the crowdfunded Cybershoes. Both offer to bring simulated walking – or at least something like it – to VR, freeing up hands to perform other actions. Whether consumers will warm to the idea of strapping peripherals to their feet as well as their hands and heads remains to be seen, however.
Going for a ride
Companies are increasingly experimenting with Virtual Reality as a mode of entertainment, potentially promoting wider adoption along the way. Holoride, the Audi-backed start-up, offers in-ride VR entertainment provided by Disney. Perhaps 2019 is the year we will see VR headsets make it onto planes and trains too.
Gaming in stasis
VR has struggled to find its ‘killer app’ capable of driving adoption of the technology, and while a host of new games are set to release this year, few look set to make a truly big impression. Nevertheless, with a range of new peripherals and headsets and new experiences exposing more of the public to VR, 2019 promises to be another big year for Virtual Reality and another step towards mainstream adoption for this nascent technology.