Whenever I mention virtual reality to people, most of them always respond with, “Yeah, yeah, I know what that is, that thing people use for gaming, I’ve seen it … you know with the big glasses”. Sadly, that’s what most people consider it. They think it’s just some technology for gaming purposes but there is a lot more to it.
So today, I’m here to help you expand your knowledge on the subject of virtual reality and how it can be helpful in 2021. We will also see how it can be a crucial thing in shaping the future of the entire human race and how virtual reality will change the future.
Now let’s buckle up and take a notebook out to learn all about it.
What Is Virtual Reality?
To put it in simple terms, virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that makes objects and scenarios appear real. It makes the user feel that what they are experiencing is real life.
Most often, in order to enter this computer-generated reality, you will need a special device called virtual reality headset.
Nowadays, we associate virtual reality mostly with computer games. However, there are endless ways in which it can be used in reality.
Bust A Myth First: Differences Between Virtual And Augmented Reality
Even though virtual reality has existed for decades, there are plenty of people who confuse it with augmented reality.
The best way to differentiate between the two is by remembering that VR builds a world through the use of a specific headset. It makes sure we get transported into another different reality.
With AR, the story is a bit different. In an augmented reality, our world becomes the place within which virtual objects and images are placed.
The best example of AR is Pokemon GO, a game that displays objects that don’t actually exist just by leveraging your phone. Another key difference is that you don’t need to wear a headset to experience augmented reality.
Now that we have the basics layed out, let’s take a look at four of the most important elements of virtual reality.
4 Important Elements of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is an artificial environment made possible through the use of specific hardware (headset) and 3D technology.
Virtual reality includes audio, visual, and haptic cues that are made to make the immersion in the alternate reality more complete and realistic.
There is usually a lot of hardware involved in VR. This includes special gloves, headsets, and even hand controllers that create a realistic experience. This additional input of movement and sensory data contribute to the success of VR.
The technology used for VR has come so far that it creates environments that are realistic enough and can effectively feel “real” to however is experiencing them.
The fact that your movements, your reactions, and actions get duplicated while you are in the virtual simulation is the key factor to it becoming realistic. Through the functioning of VR hardware, all your movements get mimicked in the artificial environment perfectly.
By now you’ve learned about what virtual reality is and you may be thinking, “Okay, but how will virtual reality change the world? Does it have any beneficial uses?” Well, allow me to answer this question.
5 Ways Virtual Reality is Changing The World in 21st Century
1. Virtual Reality In the Armed Forces
VR is currently used for military training by some of the most equipped armies in the world. Countries like the US and UK are using this to train their soldiers.
It’s used by the branches of Armed Forces including the Navy, Airforce, Marines, and even Coast Guard. It has become a very effective and preferred training method for them.
VR basically transports trainees into different situations and let’s them react to what’s happening in real time.
When it comes to the military, virtual reality is most often used to simulate fights, battleground situations or medical assistance.
It has turned out to be one of the best ways to show soldiers real conditions that they will likely face. Thus, virtual reality offers an immersive experience without the physical risks.
Another benefit of using VR is that it reduces training costs.
2. Virtual Reality In Sports
Virtual reality is helping revolutionize athletics as it has become a key part of athlete training and preparation process. VR has proved that it has a lot of use and is very effective at helping players increase their performance. Nowadays, it’s often used as a way to measure athletic performance and improve technique in a variety of sports such as basketball and golf.
It’s also great for injured athletes as it allows them to improve their cognitive abilities by letting them experience in-game situations virtually. The next thing that VR will help revolutionize is the viewing experience. More and more broadcasters have become interested in streaming virtual reality games.
3. Virtual Reality And Treatment of Mental Illnesses
VR technology is becoming one of the most popular ways to treat post-traumatic stress disorders. By using exposure therapy, a person can relive traumatic events in an attempt to overcome their traumatic stress.
Similarly, it has been used to treat anxiety, phobias, and depression.
What makes virtual reality useful, in all of these situations, is that it provides a safe environment for people. They can come into contact with their fear, while knowing that they are indeed safe in the real world.
4. Virtual Reality In Medical Training
Virtual reality is great at simulating an environment. It allows the future doctors and nurses to practice different procedures and surgeries in a risk-free space. In fact, these virtual trainings allow students to experience real-life situations and learn from them.
Now these students don’t have to go to a hospital and wait for similar cases to take place in order to learn. This also eliminates the need for using corpses or artificial human bodies in medical training and so it helps universities reduce the costs.
5. Virtual Reality In Fashion
This one might surprise you but virtual reality is finding more and more use in the fashion industry. Designers use it to produce visual simulations of future collections and it helps them produce the product before manufacturing it in real life. This makes fashion more environmental friendly as brands don’t have to go through hundreds of samples before producing the one they desire.
Some forward-thinking brands like Tommy Hilfiger have already begun making their online stores virtual reality friendly and have started incorporating the technology in presenting different clothing pieces. In the future, similar to sports, it’s expected that a lot of fashion shows will use VR as a broadcasting method. This will surely attract more and more people towards it.
Possibilities of Virtual Reality – Let’s Talk About the Future!
Virtual reality capabilities are so much more than what we currently know about. VR is not just another cool gadget or technology for fun, entertainment, and games. This technology has the potential to make a real and positive impact on our world if used and developed properly.
Now let’s take a look at the areas where the use of virtual reality can be extremely beneficial in the upcoming times.
Virtual reality can help us cut down on carbon emission by creating artificial environments that can replace the real ones wherever possible. Here’s an example that would make the statement more understandable.
Let’s talk about military training. In order to perform a “fake mission”, you will need to use a lot of space, loads of plastic, and specific equipment. You will also need vehicles, guns, and ammunition. All of these factors will create a significant amount of carbon emission on its own.
Instead of creating real-life stimulation, we use the powers of VR, the soldiers can essentially experience the same thing. This can happen without the need of so many additional tools. In turn, it helps us to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the environment.
Just imagine, wouldn’t it be great if wars can be settled playing over VR? Maybe, that can stop world war III.
Tourism And Traveling
VR can let people escape the four walls of their home and experience different places all around the world. I feel this would be especially useful for people that are suffering from mental or terminal illnesses as it will allow them to have experiences that they would otherwise miss out on.
I also think that it can be a great way for people to pick places to visit. It would allow you to get a quick look at your next vacation destination.
Improving the Overall Quality of Life
Virtual reality can enhance the overall quality of our lives in many ways. It can make entertainment devices that we currently use even better. Besides, it can offer new and interesting experiences and improve our learning methods.
If used correctly this technology can improve almost every aspect of our lives.
I hope I have satisfied your curiosity and have given you a deeper knowledge of virtual reality.
Virtual reality is a highly dynamic and interesting field and it’s always developing and moving forward. Therefore, I would advise you to keep researching and learning more about it. I’m quite certain that in several years, it will become a crucial part of our day-to-day lives.