The discussion about virtual reality is far from new. Moreover, the apprehensions of having real life substituted by our virtual selves is appearing increasingly in our newsfeed (the “head down” generation, living the life of a phantomized persona or gobbling ourselves up with virtual social proof).
Despite all this big and small talk about the unfolding dangers of virtual it is hard to deny the fact that a large part of those who are reading this text now are as much real in virtual as you are in reality.
Just think about it. Your facebook account is our upgraded version of yellow pages we associate ourselves with and use for targeted purposes of information gathering, sharing, approving (disapproving soon-to-be) as well as creating a specific image of yourself and your company/brand. Your LinkedIn is nothing more than your good old CV, craftily framed by best software engineers and thought upon by your sharp marketing instinct (can be your content manager). Instagram, SnapChat, Vene – the list of personalized accounts nowadays can be endless. The conclusion, however, remains. We are the online image of ourselves, our passions, desires and abilities.
With the whole Earth population getting online in the next decade, the opportunities to embrace and accept our virtual presence are as encompassing as the repercussions for shying from those.
Virtual reality is mainly occupied by VR headsets, of which there are plenty. And rightly so. The ability to see and feel certain things can go much further than entertaining ourselves with tricky dance moves or shooting dinosaurs. The educational benefit of virtual reality is being tapped into by such companies as Expeditions.
Remember how analytical writing teacher always pointed to the need to use visualizable examples and easily understood comparisons? Now you don’t need to think of how many people could pile up in Burj Khalifa or how long the apple will be falling down for. Now you can simply “feel it for yourself”. Hard to imagine a more objective way of teaching.
Back to heights now. How about curing phobias with VR? The probability of you strolling with a whole city’s view under your heels or petting a spider is much higher when you are at home walking on the soft Persian carpet and touching an IKEA pillow.
But wait a minute. Why do we keep thinking about people like us? Virtual reality will be able to help thousands of disabled people and show them something they could have never experienced otherwise. Being able to walk, dance or even run after years of physical paralysis. Just how real is that? On the other side, we will be given an opportunity to understand what the other person feels. This can disrupt the whole construction, design and communication industries. After all, VR is not about the ability to think for another person. It is about such a uniquely human ability to feel…
So let us embrace the opportunities that the future unfolds in front of us and not get lost in the intersection where the direction is straight and ahead!