Virtual Reality — Virtual or Real — Can you tell the difference?

Virtual Reality — Virtual or Real — Can you tell the difference?

For my blog post, I would like to focus upon Virtual reality and the significance it will have on our lives in the near future. At the moment, when someone speaks of Virtual reality, the first thing that would come to many of our minds is the bulky virtual reality apparatus that people wear around their eyes and are somehow magically transported to a universe full of sounds, colour, depth, emotion etc.

As per the Virtual Reality Society, Virtual Reality can be defined as a three dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. In other words, it simply means “Near Reality”. During these blog posts, I will frequently explore virtual and augmented reality. A virtual reality experience creates a brand new environment, whereas an augmented reality integrates the real world along with a world that is created digitally.

The most prevalent virtual/augmented reality trend that is currently doing the rounds is Pokémon Go which integrates the digital world along with the real one. The users are required to use their smartphone cameras at specific locations at specific times and capture the digital Pokémon to earn points. It is too early to say how much influence virtual or augmented reality would have on our daily lives. While Pokémon Go has only been used for entertainment purposes, the organisation behind it is earning a handsome amount and this article in the Guardian seems to think that this is just a start of Silicon Valley taking over our reality.

There are a number of uses for virtual reality that will be explored throughout these blog posts and the application of Virtual reality is varied across a range of industries. For e.g. — Qantas became one of the first airlines in the world to offer a virtual reality experience to its customers. It partnered with Samsung and customers could view Qantas destinations, new Qantas products and in-flight entertainment in an immersive and interactive 360 degree format. Complex surgeries can be practised without causing any risk to the patient’s life in a virtual environment. Surgeons can also decide the easiest and most effective way to locate tumours or place incisions by looking at a 3D model of the patient’s anatomy. Information related to this can be found here. An organisation called mindmaze offers virtual reality solutions for patients who are recovering from a stroke. It offers a personalized rehabilitation program based on those specific patients requirements.

A Deloitte Global report indicates that virtual reality (VR) will have its first billion dollar year in 2016. $700 million of this is expected from hardware sales and the rest ($300 million) from content that is specifically created for virtual reality. Deloitte expects that the majority of the virtual reality content would come from game sales. Additionally, it is also mentioned that 2016 will the year of experimentation with virtual reality at enterprise level, with multiple organisations trying their hands on VR. Multiple uses have been identified including

- Creating 3D construction projects, so that changes can be made before the work starts

- VR guides for hotel properties, so that guests can virtually see what areas of the hotel they could visit

- Teaching a virtual classroom, provide guided tours to potential students.

So, as you can see the application of virtual reality (VR) is far and wide reaching over a variety of industries. In my blog posts, I will explore the relationships between virtual reality, augmented reality and the real world. I will also correlate the articles that we are reading in class to these posts. In addition I would like to predict how pervasive VR will get in our lives and also list the positives and negatives of it.

Like what you read? Give kartik_25 a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.