VR startups

Other forms of entertainment, including video games and movies, also figure to lead the charge this year, said Todd Richmond, director of advanced prototype development for the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

But Richmond expects a backlash as consumers discover that VR content has not yet caught up to the hype.

“We’re in this shiny-object phase where everybody’s excited to try VR,” Richmond said. “But right now, the best we can do is re-create experiences and create new experiences. We can’t tell stories.”

“People have high expectations,” he said. “We’re used to very good movies, first-person shooter games, HDTV and televised sports. Now you’re going into VR, and it’ll all be a big step backwards, because the resolution is lower and there’s a disconnect between your body, so a lot of of people are going to get sick.” Indeed, some viewers of VR devices have experienced nausea.

However, Richmond does expect the VR industry to figure things out, eventually.

“In health care, education and business, VR and (augmented reality) have unlimited applications,” he said. “Virtual reality is going to impact every single industry.”