You might not know by looking at me, but I am a huge fan of virtual reality (VR) especially when it comes to video games. My love for VR comes from a place of wanting to experience true magic, imagination, and creativity. So far I’ve played lots of games including “Population One,” “Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge,” and “Until You Fall,” which have been loads of fun! Even though we’re not on the same level of “Ready Player One” yet, technology has come a long way and has me excited about VR.
Another reason I am excited about VR is because it allows for human experiences when you least expect it. True story: I was playing “Population One” and while waiting on the next match in the lobby, I was petting my cat. The other players near me in the lobby heard his cat noises and purring. Before I knew what was happening, five people joined in on petting the invisible kitty. What makes this scenario more hilarious is that from their perspective, I was leaned over petting an invisible space with my VR hands. The moral of the story is that it’s easy to forget where you are when playing VR.
Difference Between VR and AR
You might be wondering what is virtual reality and how is it different from augmented reality (AR). VR is a full visual immersion, meaning your field of vision is limited to the VR headset. Meanwhile, AR can be used on your cellphone to insert previews of what new furniture in your office might look like, or it could be a special pair of glasses that just display the weather or text messages. There are many different ways to experience AR.
How VR Could Make a Bigger Impact on How We Do Things
The more I interact with VR, the more I daydream about how it could be more impactful in our lives other than for entertainment. So, I came up with a list of ways that you might not have considered:
- Reinvent your workspace by turning your VR headset into a virtual desktop. You could set up multiple monitors in VR without concern of how much it costs. You can even change your full environment to something more pleasing such as a beach.
- VR Integrations on the web is a large interest for me. The technology to make this happen is still in the early stages, but you can integrate special features, such 360-degree images and video.
- Social spaces are also popular in VR and a great way to meet up over long distances. There is something really awesome about being able to wave at someone and they wave back.
- Hand tracking is getting better! Hand tracking takes VR to the next level, in my opinion. Rather than use a control, you just use your hands. This feature alone could greatly bridge the gap between VR and human interactions.
- VR and AR are definitely making their way into education. Imagine taking a history class and being present on location. It’s even possible to perform surgery in VR.
Even though we’re on the early side of seeing what is possible in VR, I have no doubt that there will be more opportunities for you to get excited about VR, too. The growth in virtual reality technology will also present many new challenges in how we interact with and build user interfaces.
What about VR has you excited? Tell us in the comments below.