Gaming: The Tip of the Virtual Reality Iceberg

by Will Mason • November 10th, 2014

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we live in what could be considered the biggest tech bubble in the world. The city craves new ideas, feeds off of entrepreneurship and is full of billion dollar acquisitions.

One of the more recent billion dollar acquisitions came out of Menlo Park with Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR.

Palmer Luckey kickstarted the Oculus Rift, successfully raising over 2.4 million from backers and on March 25th, 2014 Zuck announced to the world that,” [Facebook] agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.”

In his message Zuck points out that immersive gaming will be the first kind of experience brought to VR, stating that, “The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform.”

It makes sense given that Luckey’s kickstarter was titled “Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game,” but if there is one thing we believe here at UploadVR it’s that gaming is just the tip of the iceberg.

UploadVR is a community of developers, enthusiasts, designers and engineers passionate about the future of virtual reality technology. With chapters in San Francisco and New York, we have seen VR applications ranging from live entertainment, architecture, education, social, medical, retail, telecommunications, fitness and more.

One of our community members, Widerun, is building VR fitness applications. They have developed a smart bike trainer you connect to virtual reality displays. You ride in a full immersive VR world, exactly like in the real one. In their marketplace you can find any kind of VR environment you’d like to train in, plug in, and workout.

Widerun, along with NYVR organizer and UPLOAD community member Eric Greenbaum’s About Face Virtual Reality Comfort and Hygiene System, makes for an unbeatable VR fitness experience.

One of UPLOAD’s favorite VR demos is by James Blaha, Founder and CEO of Diplopia. The demo helps people with a condition called “lazy eye,” where one eye is stronger than the other. Blaha’s demo fly’s you through rings that identify if you have lazy eye and then put that eye to work.

Over 20 million people, in the US alone, have lazy eye and Blaha’s use of virtual reality technology to exercise (success rate) your vision earned him the Most Innovative Experience from the Proto Awards.

Gaming is the current catalyst for virtual reality, but soon educators, medical professionals, retailers and more will be exploring the potentials of VR. Virtual reality is a new creative medium that opens pathways to things that we can, but aren’t yet even imagining. The potential is limitless, and the more people who have a chance to experience VR the better it will be for all of us in the future.

That’s our goal here at UploadVR. To connect people to experiences that will inspire the future of virtual reality. Our next event will be at City View @ The Metreon in San Francisco on January 16th, where attendees will have the chance to experience a wide range of demos, from gaming to medical to live entertainment and more. RSVP here.

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