Virtual Reality made some major strides in 2016. Does that mean 2017 is shaping up for VR technology to hit the mainstream? Let’s explore.

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Virtual reality seems to be all the rage these days. It’s hard to find any technology discussion that doesn’t include talking points about what VR will do to improve all elements of science and entertainment. However, does this mean we’re on the verge of a new VR revolution — or is it just ultimately an interesting gimmick?

2017 looks to be shaping up to become the year of VR, with some big-name brands making some major investments into the technology. If anything, VR’s success in the near future may decide its fate for years to come. Here are some of the biggest mainstream VR plays coming in 2017.

NFL’s VR Series

Is 2017 the Year That VR Goes Mainstream? NFL VR

Image via TechRadar

According to Engadget, the NFL is partnering with Google to create a new VR series for YouTube and Google Daydream. The first episode (released on Thanksgiving Day) offers a preview of the full extent of the nine-part show, a series that NFL Films promises will give “a 360-degree perspective of life from the point of view of players, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and fans.” The program is using GoPro’s $15,000 16-camera “Odyssey” rig for the venture.

Major Motion Picture VR Sets

Is 2017 the Year That VR Goes Mainstream? Motion Picture VR Sets

Image via IFC

While full VR feature films don’t seem to be in the cards this year, Jon Favreau recently spoke with ComingSoon about how he plans to use VR technology in designing his virtual sets for the live-action remake of The Lion King in 2017. The technology, similar to what was used in Avatar (and what Favreau himself used in The Jungle Book), just shows the major investment studios and directors are making in the technology for all elements of production.

VR Music Experiences

Unless you were at the MoMa PS1 VW Dome when the project appeared, you probably haven’t been exposed to the full multimedia experience of Bjork’s new 360 VR video for her song, stonemilker. The project, created by Bjork and Andrew Thomas Huang, is actually one of a growing number of VR-experience videos that are popping up at installations around the world and on YouTube. You can read more about the projects in a full write-up on FACT, but keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for more to come in 2017.

VR Video Games

At the most recent Game Awards, the team behind the popular crossover game and film vehicle Assassin’s Creed debuted a full VR experience to go along with the film’s launch. The experience will be available in select cities through Oculus Rift demo kiosks for lucky fans looking to peek into the future, according to reports on CNet. While not a fully functioning VR game yet, the teams behind both elements are excited to jump more into the technology in 2017.

What VR technologies are you looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments.