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VR trends 2017: this is what will be big in VR next year

Neil Bennett | Dec. 19, 2016
AMD’s Roy Taylor discusses what’s going to be big for VT in 2017 – location-based VR, more complex content, and experiences good enough you’ll be willing to pay for them.

"The second one I show is the [Battle of The Bastards] battle scene from Game of Thrones. Towards the end of the battle, [one side has] lost and they're completely surrounded. Then the cavalry turn up.

"There's a lot of characters in that scene and you're trying to follow the plight of the characters. You have a lot of close-ups. Then you have distance shots to try and allow you to take in the fact that they're completely surrounded. Then finally when the charge arrives, there's a lot of aerial shots so you can understand what's taking place. That would have been great in VR."

VR for families?

In contrast to those last two scenes. The last successful big leap in how we interact and experience content was with gestural control from the Wii and Kinect. A large part of its success was driven by families - but VR is very much for adults only. I'm not talking about VR porn, but that VR headsets are shaped for adult heads. There are also concerns about what VR experiences could do to children.

"Whether it's suitable for children, I think that that still needs to be worked out." says Roy. "The answer is to commission the research and I don't believe that anybody has done that yet. They're just being cautious by saying 'this is not for under 13 year olds."

Physical and psychological issues aside though, Roy sees a lot of potential for VR for family entertainment and education.

"I think one of the most wonderful pieces of VR so far is Google Earth," he says. "It's fantastic. I had a VR setup in my house over Thanksgiving. We had the usual Thanksgiving friends over and [Google Earth] was by far the most popular [experience] hands down. Everybody loved that, going in and exploring where they came from or went on holiday.

Roy mentions a story from a contact who had trekked across the Himalayas when he was younger - and liked to go back and retrace the route he took using Google Earth - and it's easy to see how the immersion could bring those locations to life for students too. 


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