In 1831, the brilliant Michael Faraday discovered Electromagnetic Induction, which is the principle on which every single electric motor in the world is based. It’s also how your electric toothbrush charges itself.
During his time, Faraday gave dozens of lectures on the wonders of electricity, induction and magnetism. However, while his audience was often amazed by his demonstrations, they regularly asked: “Fascinating, but what’s the use of all this?“
Similar questions were asked when the automobile was invented, which famously led Henry Ford to say:
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
This is in line with the thinking of the legendary (and infamous) Steve Jobs, who believed that “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
The rise of the internet was also initially greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism, and we all know how that story unfolded.. Dozens of industries, like retail, newspapers and music, got painfully disrupted. Some of those industries are still getting out of their shellshock and desperately trying to catch up.
3D printing is another highly disruptive technology, which has the potential to single handedly propel society from mass-production to mass-customization. While some people see this technology as little more than a cool gimmick, it is in fact already possible to print human organs and tissue. The printing of food, products, and really anything physical from the comfort of your home is closer than many people think.
Virtual Reality (VR) is another one of those potentially radical technologies. According to a Wired article:
“Virtual Reality holds the promise to be even more transformative than the flat Web was — reaching into every segment of every market and remaking it to be virtually accessible.”
But now I have to be careful not to fall into a common trap which many technology writers encounter: starting to evangelize and predict how a certain technology will revolutionize an industry, or even the entire economy.
I could, for example, tell you how this “thing” called Virtual Reality will radically change the education sector by making subjects way more interactive, fulfill every architect’s wet dream of walking inside a building even before it is built, helping health care to develop revolutionary new therapies, and allowing Hollywood to create totally new and immersive video experiences which make you feel you are part of the film.
While this sounds great, history has shown that it is impossible to predict the true impact technologies will have with any degree of accuracy, especially exponential technologies like the internet and VR. Hindsight is 20/20, but in 1990 not a single person would have been able to predict the rise of Wikipedia and WordPress, to name just some random, amazing creations the internet has spawned.
Inventing the Future
So is there no way to know what a technology Is going to bring us? Well, the computer science pioneer Alan Kay once said that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” We believe strongly in this statement.
Virtual Reality is finally here and the possibilities are endless. It is now up to hardware manufacturers, software developers, and content creators to push this technology to its absolute limits and, by doing so, invent the future.
We are currently working on a mind-bending cinematic VR production in collaboration with a leading Dutch theatre school. Join our mailing list at the bottom of this page to be the first to know when this content goes live!