Rise of AR and VR good for job-seekers
Oculus has announced that they’re expanding, and stated that they’re hiring 100 new employees as a result. The reason for the growth (or expected growth): a surge in popularity for AR and VR – separate fields that Oculus themselves admit are now beginning to blend into a ‘mixed reality’.
Twitter mentions of either reality has increased by a whopping 548% since January 2015. So, what’s caused this shift, when past attempts to create such interest have previously failed?
It could be down to many things. Oculus’ own Rift headset received more interest than any devices released over the last few decades, and the price points of VR and AR tech are slowly becoming cheaper to the gamer on the street. That said, the Rift is VR, and some industry experts have commented that it lacks the whole experience, namely physical immersion, but that manufacturers are working on making products more accessible can’t be a bad thing.
Because of our increasing need for ‘experience’ in this digital world, where you can do/see anything, anywhere, at any time, VR – even if we patiently wait for it to become all we’d like it to be – may miss the boat. AR could well prove the most promising of the two prospects, given the feedback users and the media have published recently,
But VR isn’t dead and buried yet. Having the backing of Zuckerberg from 2014 has also given Oculus a fantastic boost that must have made its competitors inwardly envious. The funds to be the first to expand, trial products and bring VR to the mainstream market could add up, but it’s not as if there’s plenty more in his account. Zuckerberg’s ‘bet’, as some journalists refer to it, on Oculus being the household name of VR has seen coders and developers head his way in droves – and Oculus still need more!
In 2015, job postings for mixed reality related job roles jumped 605%, and have since doubled from even that figure. Indeed’s Managing Director, Bill Richards said, “Employers may soon need an army of augmented reality architects to design the virtual worlds we’ll all be accessing. The smartest thing companies can do to be part of this trend, is to hire switched-on, open-minded, tech-savvy individuals to help them build workplaces of the future.” He added that the recruitment brand had seen more demand from businesses in industries other than gaming and leisure, and states that all companies should be “looking to diversify”.
VR has already found roots in healthcare, helping to battle eye conditions, for example, and the possibility that ‘virtual doctors’ will soon visit us in our homes isn’t the stuff of make-believe anymore – this is what some companies will be working on as we speak.
Virtual tours of potential employers’ workplaces is no different than those estate agents post to show buyers a property for sale…in fact, virtual reality is already an established aspect of some industries. The British Army already use VR as part of their recruitment process, and it could soon be a staple element of most other recruitment agencies. If candidates are looking to relocate, both recruiter and candidate can scope out aspects of their new life without having to book a plane ticket. Meetings over conference calls will be so much better with VR; up to 93% of our communication is non-verbal, and we’ll be able to see the physical cues and expressions we’d normally miss out on, with VR technology.
It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for the VR and AR industries. Because, however virtual a world we build, we’ll still need human intellect and hard graft to monitor and develop it further.