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Virtual Reality & Commerce :

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on Virtual Reality with Silicon Graphics workstations. Lots of fun.

And I was thinking about the experience of Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality, as it is today, is really low resolution. Shaded polygons (if that), limited draw distance, lag, poor frame rate, everything that is wrong with 3D graphics that generates endless discussion on the newsgroups.

But when the day of Virtual Reality finally comes, and we lose the bulky headsets, and graphic fidelity reaches the point of being indistinguishable from actual reality, which is probably 15 years away if I am being honest with myself, commerce inside of a virtual world will go absolutely bonkers.

We won’t go to showrooms anymore for a lot of items we want to purchase. We will research the items and comparison shop online, through our new web browsers connected to the Internet, and then, when ready to purchase, we will pop into a virtual world where we can examine the items in detail.

And maybe even reach out and touch the items too, if the technology is there to do that.

But I want to make one thing clear. We won’t do our shopping in Virtual Reality. Because wandering around a virtual department store will be just as frustrating and annoying, if not more so, than wandering around a real department store.

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