Virtual Reality is the fancy-schmancy technology that has stepped into our lives lately. It supersedes your reality with a virtual reality in a computer generated environment. The insinuation is to deceit your brain and that’s your new reality, right in front of you. An illusion! You are blindfolded into a new world to spectate whatever the artisan has made for you or what you have clicked on.
In 2020, it has become 18.8 billion dollars market. It is invested into changing the panorama of how one looks at things. VR is not just restricted to gaming or play stations it has its tentacles all around. It is creeping or rather already become an integral part of our lives. You see it or not but you are certainly circumscribed by it in the near future. VR was once an upcoming idea but is now becoming the new reality, the way technology is pacing up.
VR technique is plunged into controlling what your eyes can see and what your brain receives. It tracks your head movement to put you into a new world altogether. And it might come to your surprise that the upcoming image that is going to be flashed on your screen is a result of your previous head movements. You are not merely watching it but also creating a pixel cache for what you would be watching, or perhaps experiencing, next.
The popular Virtual Reality devices available in the market being:
- Oculus Rift,
- Samsung gear VR,
- Google Cardboard,
- HTC Vive,
- Sony Morpheus
The VR headsets are generally of two types:
- One, that you fit in your cell phone for example:- Google Cardboard
- The other, the ones which are all inclusive devices with screen and everything in-built for example:- Oculus Rift or HTC Vive
People till now are majorly familiar with these forms of Virtual Reality:
- 3D movies:
The effects are almost tangible. You feel like you are actually moving. For instance, when you are on a swing, you feel butterflies in your stomach. In case of VR, you can get the exact same feeling while sitting on a chair. Same adrenaline rush!
- Video games:
Certain equipments let you immerse in a completely new world and blocks out your real world. You might have noticed people lost in the gaming world and giving it importance like a real life fix. Be it Super Mario or Counter Strike, people are absorbed. The graphics are so apt, you just can’t help it.
Personal VR headsets completely take over your vision. Just put it on your face and be immersed in the same manner like you use your headphones to cut out the sounds of the outside world, these cut out the outside world vision. Moreover, be prepared for a manifold effect on your brain, though.
Let’s have a sneak peek of what Virtual Reality can do to us in the near future (which is not very far away!) :-
It is so engaging that it engulfs our brain:
The technology is encapsulating in a way that it keeps you involved for hours. Once you are in that world you resist stepping out of it. It plays with your attention span and keeps you captivated.
Creating a Dystopian future for us:
Anything that can control your mind has power beyond doubt. By signing in for VR you give the complete control of your vision to a computer generated environment and that can in turn dominate the push buttons of your other senses. It isn’t that easy as it sounds, it would gradually affect your decisive power because hello? your brain responds to it in a more intriguing fashion compared to what it does to the natural environment.
You might think that you have gone crazy: (Well, that’s for you to judge!)
If you are in the virtual world for long, you might not be able to differentiate between what is real and what is apparent.
It is scary, gives me goose bumps…
If it takes over, which is likely to happen, it can benefit the Corporates in monopolizing their products or government into tweaking election results. Techies like Facebook, Google can make a good deal out of it by bombarding content in a modus operandi it is expected to be consumed. VR would play an important role in supporting business. It might entail exponential growth.
There are VR documentaries made on Syrian refugees, ‘Traveling while Black’ (documentary on racism in America), similarly in order to alter your thought process or rather set it the way it is needed would be easier because through VR you will be able to feel what they felt.
Younger generation is at a higher risk
The Netflix generation as we call it would become more and skeptical. The upcoming generation would be the least believing generation. They would doubt or rather question everything for its authenticity. As the technology is growing, it can mould the youngsters easily as they are more receptive. They might never be able to view the real world as it is. And there is no running away from it.
The idea of Post-truth: It throws off balance
It is a gateway rather tangible one to test our abilities in discrepancies between what actually is and what we believe that actually is. It would widen the idea of post truth. What is idea of truth to a person ‘X’ might not necessarily be the version of truth for person ‘Y’. Each one is testing different options to reach the best outcome. VR gives us the liberty to trod a path in somebody else’s shoes, taking a break from our own egos, insecurities and beliefs.
New way to educate: Will make your kids smarter, sharper and attentive
VR can accelerate learning process and change traditional methodologies which were earlier restricted to textbooks or PowerPoint presentations, etc. It can break the monotonous pattern and can actually rejuvenate sleeping cells of the brain and make classes more fun and thought provoking. Students can be tested not by writing exams but by real time learning. VR can actually fulfill a teacher’s dream of teaching with no distraction. Imagine a class full of students sitting next to each other completely engrossed in what they are being taught. He or she can emphasize on the exact things he or she considers important by making each student view it the way he or she wants it to be.
Navigate: For those travel bloggers out there!
Just like your thoughts, you can navigate from one place to another with negligible cost and time that you would have actually invested in going to a particular place for real. You can see, feel, adore, a place you have never been to. You can choose your own adventure and hop on for the ride. It is, in every respect, a new experience in a 3D space with a completely new medium. You are very much conveyed to a different destination and it is a powerful occurrence in itself as it invokes all your senses exactly the way they are meant to be in a real life situation.
Storytelling: Everyone likes hearing stories!
VR is a new form of storytelling. From students to filmmakers to journalists, all can have a hands-on experience of it. Media houses can make use of VR and step aside from the traditional Print or TV media. It would be more enticing for the readers or viewers. Though, one should keep in mind that it can also be used for propaganda or agenda setting rather than agenda-building.
Fathom new cultures: Walk the untrodden paths
You can experience a different culture by setting the Virtual Reality device to a particular city, country or environment. You can get the vibes of a similar aura around you. However, it can never replace the traditional on-foot traveling exposure but can satisfy your wanderlust to some extent, for a fact. You might have an earnest desire to travel abroad or wanted to view a tiger with close proximity, well, that is within reach.
Encounter a whole new set of emotions
Your radical wheels might not churn the way they do today. It can lead to provoking all kinds of emotional parameters such as anxiety, nausea, panic, frustration, temper, fear, anger, insomnia, headache, depression. It depends on how an individual takes it. It can move in both the axes for you, either provide you relief or hook you into it. Not just that, it can also help one to deal with real life problems like low self-esteem, keeping calm or stage fright issues. It meddles with your psychological control and energies.
Medicine and Health: Wow! Who would have thought of that?
Virtual Reality would extensively be used in relieving pain. By making people wear VR headsets, while they are being treated, in order to distract the patients so as to reduce pain. Other medical uses are stress management, treating addictions of drugs or alcohol, vocal therapy, improving cognitive skills, treating disability, activating dead cells of your body. Makes me wonder what it would do to a mother in labour, delivering a baby?
Painting a picture: Gloss over a new scenery
It can paint a new picture both literally and metaphorically. The person peeping from the outside that is from the real world, could take you for being abnormal as he notices your actions. You might be playing Javelin throw or balancing yourself on a harnessed ramp. Just like we assume that a person is talking to himself while he might be using his Bluetooth earphones.
Weltanschauung (the view of the world for an individual or group)
It is all about perspective. It puts you in the place, where you see it virtually (feels almost real) and gain the experience of having doing it. The experience might become an obsession. In that way your brain is more receptive in terms of learning. Learning in the hour is better than learning from texts, pictures or flashbacks from your memory. A paradigm shift in perspective is required to change a person’s thought process.
Just like in a dream, sometimes you get up all perspiring sometimes as you might be running away from something or in case you see a nightmare. It is almost near to a real life experience but you often lack the complete memory of it when you get up. It is because your subconscious mind is functioning all this while but your conscious mind is asleep however, here, your conscious mind is awake and therefore you retain what you see and it stays in the forefront.
Let’s conclude here…
It might not occur to you all of a sudden but its ability to interact with the real people can cause magnificent effects. With the ability to switch to a positive or negative parabola of mindsets, revolutionary modifications can be made for the existing humankind.