Will Samsung’s Revamped VR Headset Influence Mobility?

Imagine playing a video-game and actually feeling like you’re part of the adventure. How about watching one of your go-to TV shows and feeling like you’re a part of the plot line. With Samsung’s new and improved Gear VR virtual reality headset, you can — at only $99.99.

The company released an updated pair of glasses that improve a few areas for users: “the field of view has been extended from 96 degrees to 101 degrees, which makes it possible to see more content when watching shows or playing games”. The updated headset provides users with the ultimate virtual reality experience that makes them feel like they’re there and not actually sitting on their couch. As virtual reality devices continue to hit the market, it could play a key role in mobility.

One amusement park is utilizing virtual reality headsets to make each rider’s rollercoaster experience different every time they ride. The experiences range from flying a fighter jet to rafting down class VI rapids, and each provides users with a completely different journey.

But what will happen to transportation…

What if public transit used virtual reality? During weekly metro commutes, riders could pretend to be flying through the Himalayas or surfing in Hawaii, while they were actually riding public transportation in Boston. The options are limitless. Imagine how car shopping would be influenced by VR. Instead of taking a test drive outside the dealership, you could drive the car through curvy mountainous roads — while sitting in the dealership. Can’t decide which car model you like best? Simple. Just use your VR headset and test a variety of models from the showroom.

Times are changing — that is for certain. Today, the consumer is more knowledgeable when it comes to technology. These consumers, otherwise known as ‘digital natives’, which can be defined by the fact that they were raised in an overly saturated digital world, might not even remember what it was like to not own a cell phone. Digital natives have been a part of the digital landscape for most of their life and are more willing to continue to adopt the digital medium. According to a Pew survey, by “2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults will be wired differently than those over age 35. Fifty-five percent said the changes in learning behaviors and cognition will be positive.” However, over 40% believe these changes could negatively influence the digital-based consumer. Meaning, they will become easily distracted and their face-to-face communication will drastically decrease.

For this consumer, virtual reality headsets are just another toy that will be used for pure entertainment, however, as it gains momentum — it’ll be interesting to see how the transportation industry follows suit; and the implementations they add to appeal to the Digital Natives.

For now, cheers to enjoying your choice of virtual reality — whether it be skiing in Vail or bungee jumping in Thailand. The choice is yours, even from your Monday-Friday metro commute…