Virtual reality and how humanity can use it
With the hype of Virtual Reality, it is pretty hard to not be excited. Changing perspectives on gaming and entertainment such as amusement parks. What a better way to make things, in general, more entertaining than using Virtual Reality to change your perception of these activities — right? Not so fast there! If Virtual Reality is so glorious and enhancing entertainment-wise then what is the use of physical reality in these aspects?
Imagine you are having a bad day or you just received terrible news and the first thing you want to do is go for a drive. In a world where Virtual Reality is improving will you actually go for a drive in your boring old’ hometown — or will you put on a VR headset connected to a race car seat and go for a drive down Pacific Coast Highway? I can’t speak for everyone, but the answer seems pretty clear to me.
Take a look at these ways in which virtual reality will change the world
Virtual reality isn't just for gaming - it's a technology that can make a real difference to our collective futures. Here’s how VR will change our world. Virtual reality is the future, though not the future we were promised by ridiculous 1992 techno-thriller The Lawnmower Man.
No, the new VR is something to actually pay attention to - the technological kinks have more or less been ironed out, big companies like HTC, Facebook and Sony are creating their own hardware and, importantly, it's going to be affordable for normal people. With the HTC Vive, Facebook's Oculus Rift and Sony's PlayStation VR doing the rounds, we thought we'd take a look at a few ways that - this time around - VR could change the world.
The most obvious use of virtual reality in gaming.
It's unlikely to be supported by all games any time yet. But if you get the chance to try it, do - it offers an intense, immersive and impressive experience that elevates gaming to a whole new level. Watching films. Something that has been talked about with wide-eyed wonder is fully immersive VR movies. Think of 3D films, then think of actual, true 3D - a movie world you can explore at your own pace, looking at the action from different angles and paying attention to whatever you choose to. It's theoretical at best right now, but the possibility is there. And it could change film-watching forever.
Think how compulsive it can be to just look around the world on Google Maps. Then think of how much more immersive it would be to do the same through your own eyes... sort of.
VR would allow remote tours of museums for people unable to get to the building and would let estate agents give potential buyers a look around a property without them having to leave the comfort of their own home.
It's better and safer for surgeons in training to perfect their techniques on things other than real humans, but it would also be better for trainee surgeons to practise on things that aren't just plastic models or people who have left their bodies to medical science.
As such, a fully-interactive, accurately modelled specimens, suffering from a selection of ailments which need surgery to be carried out through a VR interface, would make for better-trained, better-performing surgeons - something that's better for all of us. Surgeon Simulator 2013 was a tongue-in-cheek game based on this premise.
The potential to fly round in space using a Google Maps-style interface would be fun and interesting. But a space agency putting cameras all over their equipment and sending them out to the great black unknown, with scientists on Earth viewing and navigating through a VR headset, would allow for space exploration in a way we've never seen before.
If humans find a way to do or experience something substantially better then the old way would become inferior. The traditional way of playing video games, watching videos, and interaction, in general, would become obsolete.
In what ways can VR impact humanity negatively?
Virtual Reality can change how we live drastically and not always in a positive way. With the use of technology, we run the risk of becoming less sociable. It is no secret that text messaging has made people less sociable on a physical level. Majority of young people such as myself much prefer communicating with our peers through text or IM rather than face to face contact. Virtual Reality can actually fuel this because spending much of your time in an artificial world designed to fit all your ideals can cause people to become to feel that physical reality is just in general much harder to deal with.
Virtual Reality is about having an enjoyable or ideal experience through the use of a headset that gives you the perception as if you are actually there. This, however, is not always the case. Virtual Reality is used in gaming and not all video games are all happy and jolly. Horror games and games with sudden surprises can shock the user. Imagine playing a video game on a TV where an enemy is running towards you — your body is aware that this threat is not real and will not impact your physical reality. However, put on a VR headset and have that enemy run towards you again…This can be quite frightening to the mind and can result in some cases trauma or heart attack depending on who is actually using the device.
Virtual reality has many positive purposes and can create an unimaginable world, but we must still discuss the potential dangers of it and how to minimize these dangers and make sure VR is being used most safely.
Enough with being so pessimistic. How can Virtual Reality impact humanity positively?
Virtual Reality can change the course of education and give students a first world view of the subjects they learn through the use of virtual simulations. For example, students can learn about architecture and history by using VR. Just put on a headset and within a few seconds, you’re in Paris or Hong Kong. Of course, VR would need to improve massively for this to happen but the idea of using apps like Google Maps with VR does not sound unrealistic at all. There are already plans to introduce forms of VR and AI in schools. The amount of knowledge we can obtain will no longer just be at our hands but our eyes. What better way to learn than to experience first hand?
The obvious benefits of Virtual Reality are it will vastly improve almost all forms of entertainment. Video games, Movies, and TV shows will be extraordinary and to a point unrecognizable. All your favourite games and movies will now be seen in the first-person point of view as if this artificial reality is your reality.
How much will VR improve until the point where the physical life we live today just simply isn’t enough to satisfy us? Will VR become part of us as a human species? Will it become something we just simply will not be able to live without such as our smartphones? Or will it be a breaking point to a better and more enjoyable life? Only time will be able to tell, but we can always come up with theories.