By Abdulhafeez Yusuf, Guest Contributor
Virtual reality VR is a strange yet exciting technology. It is a technology that simulates images into real-life visual experiences. It uses computer vision and advanced graphics to create 3D photos and videos that are way beyond those seen in video games or produced by the computer alone.
Users can interact with this unreal world using VR headsets and controllers, which have sensors to experience the virtual content firsthand. The headset might look like a pair of goggles worn around the face. The more expensive it is, the better the 3D experience it may provide.
In this virtual world, your mind is your only limitation. It is a world of endless possibilities. Here, the rules are pretty different; one can conjure objects into reality by simply describing them and can travel anywhere anytime in the blink of an eye without actually moving.
All these highly fascinating features make virtual reality and her sister technology, Augmented reality, a powerful tool for businesses and enterprises.
Virtual reality is a fun concept; it has made the gaming industry much more enjoyable, and gamers can now experience their favorite characters firsthand. But virtual reality goes far beyond gaming and entertainment.
Many industries can benefit from this revolutionary tech; even the world’s tech giants are jumping on this train. Meta has launched its virtual reality product, Oculus, which also produced its own VR headset.
Psychology professor Jeremy Bailenson heads a VR laboratory at Stanford University. He uses the potential of VR to induce empathy and get people past traumatic experiences.
Several other industries have adopted the use cases of VR to meet market demands and amp up their output, as you can more effectively create and test your products using VR for prototyping, reducing the need for post-production testing. You can save money on corporate travel expenses and promote employee safety by holding meetings virtually.
The age of VR we witness today started as far back as 2010 when American teenager Palmer Luckey created a prototype of a VR headset which eventually evolved into the oculus Rift. Two years later, he launched a $250,000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to commercialize it – and $2.4m of pledges later, the tech industry’s interest in VR was reborn. In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, loved the rift so much that they bought the company for $2bn.
But how is VR the next big thing?
You can only speak entirely about virtual reality by bringing in the metaverse. The metaverse is a virtual environment that allows users to merge the cutting-edge technology of VR, AR, and more. It enables them to live as they would in real life. The metaverse can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, without restrictions.
The world’s billionaires and many engineers have so much belief that the metaverse and virtual reality will become the next big thing, and some believe it might even replace the internet. In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg described virtual reality as the next big computing platform, although precisely what would happen was hard to predict.
Zuckerberg says the metaverse will pervade daily lives in a way games do not, creating avenues for buying and selling goods and services, communicating with friends and families, and reaching out to colleagues. However, at the moment, Meta’s headset cannot provide such a seamless experience as it still needs more upgrading.
Apple is also working tirelessly to produce its own seamless VR headset. On the other hand, Google is not left out on this trend; they are creating their google eyewear or google glass that works like a VR headset but with much more comfort.
It is still being determined how virtual reality can impact the future. However, much development is being made to ensure it is here as soon as possible. Some experts still believe it will take a decade to perfect this technology fully.
What is the future of Virtual Reality?
VR tech seems extremely promising in many areas, and we are yet to explore its full potential. So far, only the gaming industry has enjoyed the benefits of its revolution, but other sectors are waiting to join the speed train.
VR is so diverse that it can benefit the health care, real estate, recruitment, education, tourism, architecture, sports, fitness, charity, well-being, and entertainment industries. VR technology is yet to mature, but a lot is being spent to get it to its full maturity. Some of the developments that will shape the future of immersive technologies include;
- LIDAR and its more realistic creations for our cell phones.
- Virtual and Augmented reality devices will be made smaller, lighter, and have more exciting features.
- The demand will more than double.
- The learning, training, and healthcare sectors can benefit significantly from immersive technology.
- There will be no need to download apps due to 5G and WebVR.
Other applications of VR that will improve civilization include;
- Companies having virtual workspaces: Companies do not have to spend an immense amount of money building or creating offices or workspaces for staff; with VR, employees can meet, discuss, collaborate, and even interact with stimulated objects from the comfort of their homes and this can be just as effective as the real thing.
A company having virtual meeting
- Implementation of immersive learning: With VR, students can get more excitement from education; using VR headsets, teachers can show students the physical interpretations of several hard-to-understand terms, like atoms, electric charge, and microorganisms. All these can be seen or experienced by students, making learning quite enjoyable.
Student using Virtual reality headset for learning
Students can also go on field trips to museums, farms, manufacturing sites, and even the moon or another planet. It creates a whole new world where the possibilities are limitless.
- Virtual Reality Therapy: Medical facilities can use virtual reality to treat many psychological issues like PTSD, depression, and phobia.
Virtual reality being used to treat various psychological disorders
The remarkable thing about this approach is that patients need not take drugs, yet the effects are profound. With the coming of the metaverse and web 3.0, virtual and augmented reality will become the future of technology.