Virtual reality is basically computer-induced reality which produces a three-dimensional image which gives like-reality experience. Special electronic equipment like helmet or gloves fitted with sensors or even multiple projected environments helps in creating realistic images that trick the brain into believing that it is real.
The dorky looking headsets tend to track the user’s movements within the 3-dimensional fields in order to create a computer-generated environment when the individual becomes a part. There is an illusion of depth is created by stereoscopic effect (using two LCD monitors for both eyes).
It started back in 1985 when researchers in Silicon Valley tried exploring the realm of virtual reality. Ever since then, the concept of virtual reality has grown by leaps and bounds. With the current growth in technology, virtual reality has occupied a majority of market share. It enjoys a special status as the most anticipated technology of all times. Currently, $542 million is invested by Google to start Magic Leap while even Samsung and Sony are developing some virtual reality headsets. Venture capitalists have invested $1.2 billion into making technologies revolving around virtual reality.
With virtual reality, the best part is that one gets to travel places without even moving. The appeal of the technology is that it redefines the social needs and helps the individual in completely escaping reality.
Virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift comes loaded with advanced applications which have become a rage in real life. If the technology of virtual reality manages to become a part of daily lives of people, there will be more time spent in virtual spaces than in reality.
- TeleportationWell, not teleportation technically but virtual reality has the ability to teleport an individual to anywhere in the world through make-belief reality. It gives the privilege of going to places without even actually travelling. You just tend to pay $800 for purchasing Google Street View VR application and then you can go anywhere.
It eliminates the need for moving around and brings places right there. Even though this kind of technology promotes escapism, sometimes it is better to divert your mind from thinking a lot. The 3600 view gives a real feel of spaces and places. Through this, virtual worlds help the individuals in examining their own new worlds instead of forcing a mass rejection of the society on the individual.
- This also helps in attending live showsVirtual reality makes you feel the magic of being there amidst the crowd in a live show. Various live shows place a 3600 camera inside their studios in order to give the best possible experience for the virtual reality headset users.
- Alternate platform for interactionBy using virtual reality headsets, one can interact with other people inside the virtual reality spaces. It helps you make new friends, talks about common experiences, plays together and hangs out. This forms the crux of Virtual reality socialising. It ha started revolutionising the social network platform.
- Form of exerciseInstead of simply looking at the game, the headsets help in becoming a part of the game. The muscles are flexed while playing and one gets some much-needed exercise. It evokes the imagination in everyone’s minds and makes them creative. The quantity and the quality of games are also increasing every day with new innovations in virtual reality adopters.
Virtual reality is a great experience that poses no harm if used for only twenty minutes in a day.
There are various downsides related to virtual reality.
- NauseaNausea can be induced by virtual reality which can throw the individual off balance. The safety manuals designed for handling virtual reality require taking frequent breaks. The focal distance between the eye and the object needs to be adjusted properly for enjoying a great experience. But despite that, some games tend to make individuals nauseated.
There are two conditions called “virtual reality sickness” and “simulator sickness”, which is faced during the flight simulations. Nausea can be really overwhelming; hence it is extremely important to take breaks while engaging in virtual reality games. It can also lead to the disorientation of the individuals.
- You can lose track of realitySince virtual reality makes up a lot of things, you actually can’t see anything around you. While you might be sitting on a sofa, virtual reality will take you places. The result is that one tends to lose touch with reality. Sometimes, accidents happen because of this reason only.
For instance, while using HTC Vive, the sensors might indicate a wall but the camera might not show it resulting in people smashing into the wall. Unless there is complete seclusion area for virtual reality, mishaps are bound to happen. And then also, there will lesser connect with reality.
There is another issue of wires lying around which can make an individual trip over. The long extension cables can break away whenever they are pulled hard.
- Eyesight problemsThe screen is literally few inches away from your eyes all the time. It can cause eye fatigue. Ophthalmologists or optometrists never suggest the use of virtual reality for more than few minutes. Subjecting yourself to it for hours at length causes loss of perfect vision, myopia, etc. The strain in the eyes is caused which leads to several issues. Vivid Vision, Oculus Rift VR Headset etc is trying to improve upon the situation.
- IsolationVarious researchers believe that the use of virtual reality technology can lead to alienation from the world- leading to a severe case of isolation. There are withdrawal symptoms seen in the individuals who live their life socially without making human contact. The technology promotes unhealthy escapism which becomes a source of past time for the individuals. Instead of dwelling on what is there, the individual tends to look for what isn’t.
According to Andrew Evans, psychologist, the escapist attitude hinders the actually essential fabric of living. The technology seems to cater to the individual needs- so much so- that the user tends to withdraw physically from the society.
The technology might be costly but it cannot suffice for the lack of human contact that it promotes.