The Virtual Reality industry is hot at the moment. Both Google and Facebook, with their futuristic sounding Oculus Rift, have made moves, acquiring businesses and predicting how it could be used in the near future.
We are constantly monitoring new technology and trends and thinking about how progress might influence team building offerings and the sort of events that people want to do. We have looked at Virtual Reality several times in the past, the first time as long ago as the 1990s.
The VR machines of those days were large machines not unlike the sort of thing you find in the gym. Players would stand on a plate which monitored arm and leg movements and wear a large cumbersome headset. The experience was less comfortable than modern headsets and the world that players descended into was angular and clunky. Typically the game would involve a shoot up with opponents.
Today it would seem ridiculously primitive, but at the time it was different and showed potential. When manufacturers linked the machines up so that teams could operate in the worlds there was some excitement at the idea that it would make a good team building event.
There were a few problems. The machines were large a cumbersome, so not easy to take to a venue. The games were fun, for half an hour or so. However, there was one problem that rally was the killer as far as team building goes. Virtual Reality seemed antisocial.
Successful team building needs human interaction. To really be with people you need to remove the blocks, and a headset just stops that from happening.
There will be ideas sold into the market, but the real effect will be in the conversations that people have after they have played. The stories that they share. We are still watching with interest and it may be that new ideas come through which break through this issue. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and we will let you know.