Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are set to transform everyday reality as we move into a networked society – and the media and journalism space is no exception.
Today, digital media remains largely an online version of the print original – with the addition of video and audio – but Ericsson predicts that even more advanced networks will enable to us move far beyond this.
While it is true that VR and AR are yet to make their way into the mainstream, this could change shortly as USD 150 billion is set to be spent on the technology by 2020. When fully utilized, AR and VR media will create whole new interactive formats – as well as a wealth of opportunities to increase revenue per customer in the media industry.
In the news and journalism space, the use of VR and AR in media has the potential to bring readers and viewers deeper into a story than text, 2D images and even standard video ever could. Promising recent examples of VR media include the UN's 360-degree report from inside a refugee camp in 2015 – a first-of-its-kind, immersive experience that brings you into the story.
This is just the beginning of what is to come. As we move into a networked society, consumers will increasingly be able to 'experience' the news, rather than just reading or observing it. In fact, our Merged Reality ConsumerLab report found that consumers expect virtual screens to start replacing televisions and theaters by 2018.