Virtual reality*, or VR, has the potential to break one of the basic tenets of photography: that it’s fundamentally a medium based on looking at an image, rather than being immersed in, or part of, an image. However, despite years of technology development, VR has never quite gained traction beyond tech enthusiasts.
The problem certainly isn’t a lack of innovation or investment. In the consumer market, companies like Samsung, Ricoh, and Nikon have all introduced 360º cameras at reasonable price points, and while they’re fun, none has come up with a product that rocked the world.
At the professional level, companies like Google and Nokia have put a lot of R&D into platforms and products, and while they’ve achieved some level commercial success, VR remains a somewhat niche market. Meanwhile, media organizations such as The New York Times and USA Today have created good content, but the masses aren’t exactly rushing to it.
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