Virtual Reality knocking on our door. Should we open?

Virtual reality always seemed to be kind of a fiction, invented for books and film industry. It’s hard to believe, but VR is going to be a part of our normal life, like a cell phone or a laptop now are. One of the most expected releases of the last years — the innovative device Oculus Rift is entering the market this spring and promises to make virtual reality reachable for everyone.

Revolution in the world of modern technology

The concept of virtual reality isn’t new, a lot of researches were made on this topic, worlds biggest companies invested a lot of time and money to make this idea turn into reality. Years of hard work now turned out into an innovative device Oculus Rift, a product that can be tailored for personal needs of each user. It was in 2012 when the young Oculus team started their promising campaign on Kickstarter and raised the unbelievable $2,5 million for the development of the product. Almost 10 thousand backers donated to bring the project of the VR headset to life.

The Pandora’s Box has been opened. People now understand that good virtual reality that tricks your subconscious is possible. They understand that it’s within the realm of possibility to make something that is as real as the real world. If enough people know that, we’re never going to stop. We are going to make this happen. — Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus VR.

But Oculus Rift will not be the only device for VR on the market. World’s biggest companies are working hard to present their own virtual reality products. One of them is HTCs Vivo — the headset will be released only few days after the Oculus Rift and might become its main competitor. But Rift still has a big advantage — its price. Almost the same specifications of both devices were valued for $599 by Oculus and $799 by HTC. Both headsets require powerful computers. In most cases the PCs of the users will need big investments to become compatible with this VR devices.

But there is still a possibility to enjoy the journey to virtual reality for smartphone users. Samsung Gear VR runs the Samsung Galaxy smartphones and with its price of $99 is a great deal. Google Cardboard remains the cheapest and the most affordable device for virtual reality — it costs only $20 and is compatible with all the smartphones up to 6 inches. You can also download a free template and get your own hand-made cardboard VR-headset.

Not just another gaming device

Releasing the virtual reality headset is going to cause the real revolution in the world of games. Oculus Rift even before its official release on the market has more than 200 games in its app store, most of them are native. To support the native game development Oculus will ship its device with the four-month Unity Pro trial. This generosity is believed to be rewarded with gaming software developed exclusively for Rift, that will make this device even more popular among gamers.

But Oculus Rift isn’t just about entertainment. It will affect all the areas of our life in the most unexpected way. Check out the infographic with the best things you can experience with the help of VR. It’s time to get ready for something really new. VR offers endless possibilities for:

  • education and training;
  • healthcare and medicine;
  • architecture and design;
  • business etc.

Just imagine a history lesson, where the students don’t have to read boring books but can witness the important events or meet the world’s leaders with the help of a headset connected to a powerful computer. The same headset can be used as a surgery simulator to train young doctors before allowing them to operate in real. Military simulators help to improve the skills of soldiers without any single shot and as a result any danger. Keep in mind the profit for architects and designers — using the VR headset they can let their clients walk through their new home or renovated apartment even when it is just a project. Coming to a travel agency the clients can enjoy the demo version of possible destinations and choose the one they would like to travel to.

With specific software Oculus Rift can bring real benefits to any kind of businesses. Virtual reality gives a chance to interact with partners, interview the candidates, attend meetings in real time, even if this events take place far away from your office. Time is the most valuable resource in the world of business and VR software is here to optimize different processes in the company and help to save time and invest it in more profitable projects.

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook.

As every new invention does, virtual reality can bring both benefits and disadvantages. It is hard to predict, how the everyday use of VR technologies will affect our life. Virtual reality can entertain and educate, it can bring to other dimensions or save lives in the real world. At the same time it will definitely have some impact on social life, physical and psychological health of its users. The tech revolution is knocking on our door. The main question is: are we ready to let it enter our still real life?


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Originally published at thinkmobiles.com on March 16, 2016.