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Revolution or evolution?

By David Snook

I was about to start interviewing someone in the Dubai market a month or two ago, for our big Middle East Special Issues (March and April, 2017) and he started with: “If you are going to ask me about virtual reality I will scream!” I therefore got the impression that he was a trifle weary of the subject.

Revolution or evolution?

He should be. He was one of the principals in a big chain of family entertainment centres, rich and ripe territory for the VR brigade. And there are plenty of them. I counted a dozen proponents of the “new” art at the IAAPA show in Orlando last November. The big question, of course, is will VR last this time or will it be another passing fad?

I won’t incur the wrath of my advertising manager by declaring for the latter, but I am not certain that it is a passing fad anyway. I am perhaps a little biased because I remember all the razzamatazz 10 years ago (or even longer?) when it was going to “revolutionise the industry”. It didn’t. It flopped.

This time, I am knowingly rebuked by the said proponents, it works properly. Those early experiments failed because the technology wasn’t right and the industry wasn’t ripe and ready. Now, the technology is transformed; the industry desperate and gagging for something “new”.

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