Virtual reality is no longer a dream but a reality of our times. What started as a gaming technology is finding itself more useful in different aspects of life too. The most popular way of enjoying virtual reality is through virtual-reality headsets that let you enjoy a 3D experience as if you were there too yourself. Now, who says these tech advancements can’t make our lives more exciting?
Just what is virtual reality? It actually is just a combination of the definition of both words, virtual and reality. Virtual simply means near whereas reality is our personal experience as human beings. In short, a virtual reality experience is a digital experience that is almost near reality.
Throngs of people flapped imaginary wings, paddled invisible canoes and took aim at shapeless digital foes, all courtesy of this year’s Consumer Virtual Reality (CVR) conference.
Now in its second year, the May 6-to-8 conference brought together tech enthusiasts of all kinds to embrace all things virtual.
With interest steadily growing, the CVR conference is poised to become one of the venue’s fastest-growing events as Vancouver takes centre stage in the virtual and augmented reality space.
“Last year, we were expecting about 1,200 to 1,400 people, and we ended up overselling and getting roughly 3,000,” said Dan Burgar, director of business development at Vancouver-based virtual reality (VR) company Archiact and president of the VR/AR Association.
As the technology advances and becomes more accessible mainstream, more and more people become curious about it and are even willing to try it themselves. These gaming virtual-reality headsets are even selling like hot pancakes in kids and teens that are tech-savvy.
Virtual reality can be lonely.
For all of the overwrought promises about the futuristic technology connecting people, it’s a pretty isolating experience. The hardware shuts out any view or sound of people physically near you, not many people own headsets yet, and interactions inside virtual settings are still limited.
Google (GOOG) is working on new features that could fix some of that. Unfortunately, it might involve hanging out in the VR version of a YouTube comments section.
The company announced the next steps for its virtual and augmented reality technology on Thursday at its annual I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California.
Google is releasing a major update to its virtual reality platform, Daydream. It’s the software that will run on its own Daydream View goggles as well as the standalone headsets that third parties like Lenovo are creating later this year. Google also makes the Daydream View, a low-tech VR headset that uses a smartphone.
The truth is that any obsession with technology tends to alienate the person from almost everyone and everything in his surroundings. They get lost in their virtual world and spend hours on end doing their thing on the computer and miss out on creating relationships and strengthening bonds between family and friends. It might be the same thing with virtual reality. Fortunately, Google got this covered as indicated in the article.
“I’m afraid [virtual reality] can be too good, in the sense of being an experience that people want to spend a huge amount of time in,” said Hanke at an industry conference last month, as reported by GamesIndustry. “I mean I already have concerns about my kids playing too much Minecraft, and that’s a wonderful game.”
Hanke continued: “We’re human beings and there’s a lot of research out there that shows we’re actually a lot happier when we get exercise, when we go outside – and outside in nature in particular. I think it’s a problem for us as a society if we forgo that and spend all of time in a Ready Player One-style VR universe.”
This is one sad reality we have to acknowledge about virtual reality. Humans are social animals. It has been proven throughout history. We feel depressed and perform poorly in isolation. Unfortunately, the technology that we have now and are likely to dominate our future does just that. We get lost in our little virtual bubble that we become oblivious to what’s going on around us. We try to connect with people from our past and even to strangers but we miss out on living in the now with the people who means a lot to us because our times are consumed by our preoccupation with these tech gadgets and the Internet of Things.
Fortunately, they are still optional technologies right now. The thing with technology is that they only become bad depending on how you use it. Technology can either be your friend or foe, so make sure you use it right. Immerse yourself with the right technology and use it in moderation and you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds without getting out of touch with reality.