VR Is Not Like Other Tech

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Why Virtual Reality Doesn’t Need a Killer App to Get Huge

On a frosty December morning in 1783, some 400,000 people gathered in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris to see the world’s first manned flight in a hydrogen balloon. Jacques Charles and his assistant, Nicolas-Louis Robert, ascended 1,800 feet into the sky accompanied by a mercury barometer, some sandbags, and a few bottles of champagne. “Nothing will ever quite equal that moment of total hilarity that filled my whole body at the moment of take-off,” Charles later wrote. “I felt we were flying away from the Earth and all its troubles for ever.” Back on the ground, feelings were more ambivalent. Benjamin Franklin, then the American ambassador to France, watched the scene from his carriage. A cynical companion remarked, “What’s the use of a balloon?” Franklin, aghast, replied, “What’s the use of a newborn baby?” His point: You’re not thinking big enough. …[READ]

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