What ONE major technological innovation (s) do you see in the horizon that has significant consequences (positive and/or negative) for global society?
I think once virtual reality headsets become cheaper and more commercially available they will have an enormous positive impact on global society. The potential opportunity for virtual reality is incredible, one report from the Globe Newswire stated that the market for virtual reality is expected to grow from $7.9 billion to $44.7 billion by 2024. This is why many large technology companies have been investing so heavily in the research and development of VR. Facebook in particular has shown to be the most aggressive in going after the market following the $2 billion dollar acquisition of Oculus founded by former UMD students. As the technology for virtual reality continues to grow it has also spawned other markets for augmented reality which makes technology easier to integrate with people’s lives.
How will it impact/change the way we live/work/play?
Virtual reality has the potential to have significant impact on the way we enjoy entertainment. The NBA recently announced that for the upcoming season they will begin offering a Virtual Reality package along with their traditional NBA League Pass which enables customers to stream NBA games from virtually every device. This new VR package will enable customers to experience sitting courtside during any game of the season from the convenience of their own home. Additionally it will be compatible with every major virtual reality headset currently on the market from Xbox and Playstation to Oculus and HTC. This comes in the middle of negotiations for a new $24 billion dollar contract between the NBA and ESPN for exclusive broadcasting rights which has lead ESPN to also begin investing in virtual reality packages. This is only one specific example, many other traditional television media are experimenting with the potential for incorporating virtual reality in the future. While the technology is still a few years away, the potential remains incredibly exciting for both customers and businesses too.