Dorothy, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore. We’re pulling back the curtain in our 2017 Oz to see the latest advancements in the virtual space.

What is the “virtual space”? In today’s world it includes two different forms of technology:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) blurs the line between real and computer-generated worlds by enhancing the sensory experiences of what we see, hear, feel and smell. The popular Pokémon Go craze is a great example. The app on your smart phone uses the rear-facing camera to capture what’s in front of you and overlays computer graphics on the screen facing you.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) is interacting within a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment. Various types of equipment, like specially-equipped helmets or gloves fitted with sensors, are used to facilitate the unique experience.

Companies are investing a lot toward these technologies. Google, for example, released its new phone, Pixel, along with a VR headset, Daydream. Using them together offers a complete immersive experience. Daydream comes with a remote that allows you to click on objects and navigate through the 3D space. A couple of other phones are also compatible with this VR headset.

Sony PlayStation VR puts you inside a video game, giving you the full immersive experience of a 3D world. Put on the headset, grab a controller, and you’re off into wild gaming experiences like Batman: Arkham VR.

Facebook even entered the VR space when they purchased Oculus Rift for $2 billion a couple of years ago. That’s one indication of just how lucrative the virtual space is.

Let’s not forget Microsoft. Their HoloLens demonstration is nothing short of magical as it gives you highly interactive VR and AR experiences. Characters can know a user’s position and gaze, and react in fun and surprising ways. It also offers a virtual desktop, which can include a virtual TV screen the size of your wall.

What’s next? Who knows! But we’ll be there to help you access it with your fiber-speed internet!