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To this day, movies like The Matrix and Inception keep audiences glued to their seats. This is because of one thing--mankind’s innate fixation on the possibility of an alternate reality. For fans of The Matrix, it’s the idea that humans are actually living in a world controlled by machines.
However, they don’t know it, because the machines keep humans asleep and deceive them with a dream world they think is real life. In the case of Inception, the main characters frequently escape to dream worlds--worlds that they can create according to their own fantasies. The struggle is one that many can relate too--if the alternate dream world is so good, why leave?
Given the fascination with alternate realities, one would think that virtual reality headsets like those produced by Oculus, HTC, Samsung, and Zeiss would be selling like hot cakes. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This past summer, HTC cut the price of its VR kit by $200. In response, Oculus dropped the price of the Rift VR kit to $399, then raised it slightly to $499.
One of the major reasons for this drop in demand, according to a summer report, is a lack of “essential content” coupled with the absence of an “alternate reality” feel. In other words, today’s VR platforms don’t treat users to lifelike experiences that warrant the high cost of the VR lifestyle.
Blockchain For VR
To reinvigorate the VR industry, some companies are working on blockchain powered solutions. The goal is to synthesize VR platforms with blockchain technology to provide users with lifelike experiences they can share with virtual communities.
The first step in this process is to lower the cost of VR units. Some of the bigger names like Oculus and Samsung charge hundred of dollars for the VR kits, but after adding extra costs for additional equipment, the true price is closer to $3,000 for a functional experience. Blockchain companies can create VR kits for a fraction of a cost, some as low as $15 per kit. The decrease in price will be a huge attractor to those who are interested in VR platforms but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for a worthwhile experience.
The second step these companies are taking is to make platform agnostic kits. This means that the programs can operate on multiple devices and operating systems, allowing for a certain amount of interchangeability that should attract more users. Additionally, the platforms have mobile compatibility and smartphone integration, with the option of a CD and DVD slot for those who prefer a more “old school” experience.
Third and most importantly, the blockchain powered VR platforms will create real life experiences through a VR medium. Thus, instead of creating cheesy, game-like scenarios, they will transport users into real world events and circumstances. One company, CEEK, is creating a VR platform that will allow users to stream concerts, participate in educational events like music lessons, and interact with other users on a decentralized marketplace.
The company already has a thriving VR business, but has created a methodology to bring real-life experience to its users. Through VR, user experience can often be better than the actual experience, particularly because the CEEK technology provides an extremely high quality link with the live event.
The benefit of taking a more real life approach to VR is that it allows users to experience real events they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. So, users in the UK can see their favorite artist in concert even if the artist never tours in the UK. Or, those who can’t afford to take guitar lessons in person can do so for a much lower price through a VR platform. The VR platform gives a 3D, lifelike feel that 2D video lessons can’t provide.
What’s more, by incorporating 3D virtual marketplaces, users can interact with other members and exchange digital goods and merchandise. The tokenization of the platform means users in any part of the globe can do business, opening up the possibility for cross border virtual commerce. For concert goers in particular, this creates a sense of unity and oneness even though they aren’t at the live show. The experience is very similar, but at a much lower cost.
The combination of lower prices, platform flexibility, and the incorporation of real world experiences make blockchain powered VR kits much more attractive than their traditional counterparts. The addition of decentralized virtual marketplaces allows users to interact with one another, providing a very important communal component to VR. With these things in place, virtual reality will feel a lot more like the alternate reality many have come to crave.