It's often easy to discredit new display technologies, especially when past 'innovations' have been little more than gimmicks or passing trends. Technologies such as 3D and curved screens have been promoted as the next best thing when it comes to an immersive experience, but most audiences will agree that there's no noticeable improvement.

With virtual reality (VR) headsets on the horizon, how does the technology improve the experience of digital content?

This article will take a look at the where the technology offers improvement, and why it could very well be the next display technology of choice.

Immersion

The first on the list, immersion is a key consideration of any content viewer. It's the main reason we go to movie theatres, as we're able to become engrossed in the content thanks to the massive screen and clear, powerful sound. It's also why we buy bigger TVs, as it makes what we're viewing larger and true to life.

VR headsets improve the immersion factor of content exponentially, and it's perhaps the key reason the technology has been receiving so much media attention. They're able to recreate the theatre experience through the use of virtual cinemas, and make game worlds come to life.

Once you place the headset on, the lenses bend the content around the user's vision, making them feel like they're standing within the world. No TV or theatre is able to achieve such a high degree of immersion.

New types of content

Videogame developers and filmmakers have created some truly astounding experiences over the past few decades, with many bending the established conventions to deliver amazing content Of course, there are limits, most of which are as a result of current technology limitations.

VR will change this, and open up an entirely new world of experiences for developers to create. For example, users will be able to walk around recreations of museums and interact with virtual exhibits, even viewing movies and TV shows from the perspective of different characters.

As it's an entirely new medium, content creators will be able to develop experiences which have never been seen before. Some have already come forward, with companies such as Palo Alto-based startup Jaunt developing a camera designed to film in 360 degrees.

Looking ahead

There will likely be no shortage of content for VR headsets over the next few years, as developers rush to improve digital experiences. While many companies have announced plans, there's certainly many more quietly working on the next big thing.

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