Taking virtual reality beyond video games

Kai Ryssdal and Ben Johnson May 21, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Taking virtual reality beyond video games

Kai Ryssdal and Ben Johnson May 21, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson recently learned to fly. Well, in the virtual world anyway.

Johnson took a virtual flight over New York City (complete with crashes) with the help of Birdly, a full-body VR simulator designed by the Institute for Design Research at the Zürich University of the Arts.

 “It’s kind of ridiculous and amazing because you can just fly around this map of Manhattan and…it’s not really a game, it’s something else,” Johnson says.

A flying simulator is great, but as Johnson says, the cost of making all that 3D content is prohibitive — for now, anyway.

“It is getting cheaper. And it’s getting cheaper for people who don’t make video games,” he says.

So how are companies going to monetize virtual reality outside of the video game space?

“It really could be, in many ways, the future of everything from entertainment…to a place where you could actually go shopping. Think of an Amazon mall that you’re moving around in from home,” Johnson says.  

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.