What’s old is truly new again.
Dr. Shawn DuBravac is chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ and the author of “Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Communicate.” Follow him on Twitter @shawndubravac.
The endgame of books, movies, television and video games is to entertain. And to be entertained, you need to forget, for a moment, what's happening in the world around you. The more immersive the entertainment experience, the easier that is to do. Which is why virtual reality - a fully immersive, all-encompassing experience - has, for decades, captured the imagination of science fiction writers and tech innovators alike.
Remember the View-Master? That old-school, hand-held headset with the cardboard reel of immersive photos? The View-Master marked an early entrée into fully immersive entertainment. When it originally launched at the 1939 New York World's Fair, the View-Master was designed as an alternative to scenic postcards. While this would remain a relevant use-case scenario, the invention grew to enjoy much broader application - including military training. During World War II, the Department of Defense saw the innovation's potential and purchased over 100,000 View-Masters and some six million reels during the course of the war.