Is Virtual Reality the Future of TV?

Over the last two decades, the look of the average TV has undergone a lot of changes. Gone are the big, heavy boxes we all used in the 90s, replaced by sleek flat screens with the kind of resolution and picture clarity that we could only dream of before. The changes aren’t slowing down, either: Smart TVs, 4k, HDR, and other technological advances are still being introduced. However, there’s one up and coming technology that might be the biggest change of all.

Later this year, virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift will be hitting the consumer market. With them will come additional accessories that promise to make the act of watching TV even more immersive, like chairs that vibrate and shake to heighten the effect of explosions and chases. While no one knows yet if these devices will catch on, it’s fascinating to think of what will happen if they do.

Most TV innovations so far have focused on improving picture quality and making units easier to move. Virtual reality, on the other hand, seeks to bring a whole new dimension to how viewers experience the things they watch. As the technology becomes more widespread (and thus cheaper), it could very well revolutionize the home television experience if it catches on.

Will the Vive and the Oculus Rift be a hit with consumers, or another failed gimmick? It’s still way too early to tell, but it’s fun to imagine what could happen if consumers at large take a liking to virtual reality.

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