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Virtual Reality or VR is predominantly an immersive entertainment medium driven by hardware, games, video and theme parks. Deloitte Global predicts that VR will have its first billion-dollar year in 2016 with about $700 million in hardware sales, and the remainder from games and content.

Anticipating promising opportunities with virtual reality platforms, Facebook acquired Oculus VR in 2014.

This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

– Mark Zuckerberg

A personal experience with immersive gaming VR is as close as a demo at the Oculus Rift kiosk in your local Best Buy.

What does a Oculus VR experience look like?
https://scontent.oculuscdn.com/t64.7195-25/12138835_514228258702350_871497036_n.mp4

Training applications for VR show potential as an affordable “flight simulator” type option for learning that is too dangerous or expensive to practice in the real world.

Recently, I had an opportunity to explore the potential of VR to transform learning in a conversation with Anders Gronstedt, a pioneer in next generation learning and CEO of the Gronstedt Group, a digital training agency that develops award-winning educational games and simulations, television style video, mobile training apps and virtual reality experiences.

For a more in-depth examination of VR and AR read “From Immersion to Presence: How virtual and augmented reality can transform learningby Anders Gronstedt.

How will the Instructional Designer role adapt to encompass virtual reality training projects? Anders predicts the instructional designer will likely be the “product manager, driver, visualizer. and designer of the overall experience” working with a team of dedicated experts with specialized skills in 3D modeling, programming, game development, and cinema.

For more information about commercial and consumer developments in VR, www.roadtovr.com is an excellent news source.