Virtual Reality Los Angeles has been holding seasonal conventions to introduce people to VR for more than two years. Usually the shows have focused on evangelizing on behalf of the technology — touting its transformative potential in gaming, storytelling, and industrial applications. But this year’s VLRA Summer Expo found itself addressing an industry that has transitioned from theoretical to actual, with retail versions of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive landing in living rooms, and Sony’s PlayStation VR waiting just around the corner. Virtual reality isn’t just a futuristic concept anymore, but an actual market. And so the speakers at VRLA shifted their focus from niche technology tastemakers, to the endless buying potential of mainstream consumers.
“VR is now, but it always doesn’t feel like right now,” acknowledged Roy Taylor, AMD’s corporate vice president of alliances, during the show’s opening keynote last Friday. “But I’m going to talk to you today about bringing VR into a place where it’s truly an industry. A trillion-dollar industry.”