I was at the theater this past weekend seeing the new picture in the "Planet of the Apes" saga: "War for the Planet of the Apes." Upon verbally admiring the Special Effects used in the film, my brother, who I saw the movie with, replied, "Yeah, it is really good. But, where can they go from here? Special effects are already so good that anything can look real - like what is left to improve?" I thought on this for a little while, but finally turned to him and answered in one word - "immersion."

The present

While the special effects in our movies have without a doubt made tremendous advancements, the viewing experience has remained relatively stagnant.

I know we have '3D' glasses with '3D' effects, but for the sake of this article, we will just be avoiding that. In my opinion, 3D movies are a two dollar upcharge for mediocre effects. So, the logical next step is to immerse the viewer in the film. This is already happening - take VR for example. For just $15 you can pick up a Google Cardboard and enter a virtual world. I, for one, enjoy this technology myself on airplanes, as I hate flying.

There are already individuals testing out this new type of technology as a mass form of entertainment. In late April, at the Overlook Film Festival in Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Ore., a booth called "Mule" demonstrated VR technology by allowing participants to be virtually buried in a coffin or virtually cremated - all with the help of a VR headset.

This is only the beginning.

The future

With VR to the masses, the next step is full-sensory immersion. Startups like Avegant, RotoVR, Onotes, and The Void, are creating systems that can fully immerse an individual in a virtual world. And not just visually - these systems will make you feel something when you virtually touch it.Not only that but based on a report by the AT&T Foundry in part with RocketSpace, these systems will have the capability for people to have a social experience and connect with other people while immersed.

This kind of technology applies not only seeing the latest movies but live experiences too. Envision a concert that is much too expensive to see in person, but for a small fee and your handy VR immersion setup, you can be right there too. This is the future of entertainment.

As with all new technology, time is always necessary for it to become widespread. But in 100 years that may have already happened - "As price points come down for these types of experiences, the hardware to power them will become as commonplace as flat screen TVs are today."