At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, privately held Oculus VR debuted the newest prototype of its Oculus Rift headset, which promises to make virtual reality affordable and accessible for everyone. The newest design improves on previous prototypes' immersive abilities -- and more importantly, reduces the glitches that made some earlier testers queasy. And while video gamers and game makers are no doubt salivating at the prospect of getting inside their favorite titles, Oculus Rift and a host of other new VR technologies could create big opportunities in other industries, too.
Fool analysts Sam Davidson and Nathan Alderman discuss how the Oculus Rift could change real estate, medicine, and more as they consider wearable technology in this week's installment of Geekstock, The Motley Fool's new Web show, in which Sam, Nathan, and host Ellen Bowman introduce you to the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Having tested an earlier version of the Rift, Sam says it lives up to its hype as an amazing, immersive experience. Nathan also notes that the new version features head-tracking technology and brighter, more responsive displays inside the lightweight goggles, both of which reportedly help the Rift feel more realistic and less nausea-inducing.
The Rift and other technologies have the potential to broaden the audience for video games, much like the motion controls that made Nintendo's Wii a hit with gamers of all ages and genders. That's potential good news for game makers such as Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), which might be able to sell more VR-enabled games to a wider swath of eager players.
But Sam believes VR could also revolutionize real estate by offering home tours from the comfort of an agent's office. And Nathan thinks VR could expand demand for Intuitive Surgical's (NASDAQ:ISRG) robosurgery tools by making procedures easier and more comfortable for doctors, as well as enabling long-distance diagnoses and operations.
Please watch the video to discover other ways that new virtual reality technology could open up new markets for existing companies, and learn what, exactly, looks like "an ATM designed by David Cronenberg." And be sure to check back here often for more Geekstock segments.