#CannesYouFeelIt – Wired Co-Founder Kevin Kelly On The ‘Inevitability’ Of Virtual Reality

VR has been a hot topic at Cannes Lions this year, and today Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly joined PHD’s worldwide strategy director, Mark Holden, on stage to explore how this new medium might affect us all.

Kelly’s keynote also focused on some of the ‘inevitable’ technological trends that might revolutionise the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other.

Kelly began his talk by explaining just what he meant by ‘inevitable’ when talking about technology, saying “Long-term trends can be predicted, although their specifics cannot.”

However, much of Kelly’s speech was focused on the steady development of VR over the coming years. He said “VR is the next platform after smartphones.”

He made the distinction between Virtual Reality, headsets which fully take up your field of vision, and Mixed Reality, like the kind supposedly in development by the elusive Magic Leap.

Echoing similar comments made yesterday by Clay Bavor, Vice President of VR at Google, Kelly suggested that much of the technology required to make VR viable for normal people was already present in your smartphone.

Talking about the immersive nature of VR and the need to understand ‘presence’, a term used by enthusiasts to describe the sensation of really being somewhere else, Kelly said that “vision alone is no longer enough”, and that tactile response were 50% of the experience.

Finally he suggested that the commercial benefits and interests associated with VR were huge, and that the companies running the VR platforms would become the biggest in the world thanks to the huge amount of data they will be able to collect.