What exactly is Virtual Reality?

What exactly is Virtual Reality?

What exactly is Virtual Reality?

What exactly is Virtual Reality?

At this point in time, everyone has seen the multiple documents and news stories surrounding VR and the different headsets that are available. It is relatively early days for this technology, so we can’t be sure if it is set to take over the marketplace or be swept under the carpet. But what is VR anyway?

Virtual reality is a huge change in how we consume different items in terms of digital experience. If you think of how you use a computer, you will see it has always been mediated, a neutral third party that passes data from A to B, what virtual reality seeks to do is remove the middle layer.

For example, watching the news, if you are sat with your family at the end of a long day, you all have to watch the same thing, with VR you can all be watching something different while all being in the same room.

Closely related to VR is augmented reality. AR (augmented reality) is also sometimes called extended reality. While VR (virtual reality) relies on a headset AR is most commonly viewed through your phone or tablet.

An example of similar AR and VR experiences is with IKEA. IKEA have taken VR and AR much further in their customer usage in my opinion. With VR they have introduced virtual kitchen, bedroom, living room, and household tours. Whilst with AR they have their application out, that allows you to measure a space in your house and in real time see if it fits and trying different items in the available space.

VR and AR are getting over the initial rocky stages that tend to arise when any technologies launch but there are some concerns that may be holding back their
• With the data breaches (link to a blog about Facebook data breach) people are more cautious of the technology that they are using
• Technology addiction affecting teenagers (perhaps link to an article?) parents may be reluctant to add to their children’s digital world
• Toxic Online behaviour

But as always there is a flip side – it can be used for everything, but which route will we see it go down. Beyond the gaming, interactive entertainment, education, and design tool, it has shown promising moves in an application for the relief of PTSD.

Many schools across Europe and North America have used VR to teach their pupils about the depths of space and the ocean, allowing them to explore them all whilst sat in their classrooms. These experiences have ranged from Pre-school all the way through Secondary years. The multitude of uses of VR and AR in education is vast.

So where does VR go now?

Users will have a heightened emotional responses to VR experiences, therefore the quality of interaction between customer and brand will increase . Even with such a positive device, we are at the beginning of what could turn into misuse. The technology and the internet are a fantastic thing, yet how people on the internet treat each other can be below par.

It may not be all doom and gloom though. If proper regulations were set with enforced user guidelines, then it could be a wonderful tool across many different fields and disciplines. So, let’s look forward to what could be in store for VR.

Both VR and AR are stood in the starting blocks just ready for the starting gun to go off. Will you be getting a headset?

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