Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Usually, I focus on how VR is changing the world of communication and learning. But the focus today is maybe more important than anything I've ever said or written about VR. VR is a new technology and it always takes years and sometimes decades for a transformational technology to become a daily part of everyone's life. That's why I'm talking about boxing today. VR boxing. I'm ok with working out, but I don't love going to the gym or running. Make it interesting like a game of touch football, basketball or just throwing around a frisbee and it's no longer exercise. It's fun. But to get a basketball game going or even throwing the frisbee, you have to find some friends or join a league and go to a basketball court or a field. Not a big deal, but if you're busy with work or family maybe you can manage it two or three times a month.
VR boxing is fun. I love it. And all I have to do is get up off the couch, turn off the TV and put on a VR headset. As I write this, I just finished five rounds so maybe it's the endorphins talking. Between the fourth and fifth round, I stepped out of the VR 'play area', hoping that it would stop the timer that signaled when I would have to get back in the ring for the fifth round.
It didn't. 60 seconds later I was back ducking, dodging and swinging. I ended up winning the match. I also needed to change my shirt because it was like I had just done a hard 20 minute workout - because I had just done a hard 20 minute workout. Why is this the most important VR topic I've talked about? I see VR as a fundamental new medium that will revolutionize the way we communicate and learn. What I left out is that VR will revolutionize how we exercise. Ok, but is that a big deal? It's a huge deal.
Look at how much we and much of the world obsess on looking good, keeping in shape and trying to live a little longer. Half the ads we see in our life are focused on that. Now, people who view the gym as their ironic mortal enemy, might become an avid boxer or climber. They'll look forward to getting up and throwing on the headset and rowing in the Olympics that morning or look forward to getting home from work and dancing up a sweat. It's true magic. It's like turning broccoli into chocolate. It's fun, good for us and we can do it in our living rooms. And it will be one of the biggest sledgehammers that break down the wall between VR and the average person.