Six years ago, we were discussing whether virtual reality become mainstream or not. Today, VR technologies are revolutionizing many industries and creating a whole new level of human experience. The mid 1980s goggles and gloves have sparkled the idea and today immersive virtual reality, the sense of reality is beyond imagination.
Although VR technologies are identified with gaming and entertainment industries; it has brought visionary changes to many different businesses which have an intention to be experienced by their end users. VR changed the course of universal storytelling and made one of the most important principles of it happen: “Show, do not tell!”
So, what are the basics of VR technologies, how does it exactly work, what are the dimensions of it, how does it affect human behaviour; and lastly what is the future of VR? Hereby, we intend to draw a frame to clarify these questions by discussing different dimensions of VR technologies. To find out more, keep on reading!
A Brief Explanation of VR Technologies
A brief explanation for those who haven’t managed to follow up the recent news of VR technologies: VR is simply a computer generated medium which stimulates your brain to see something artificial as real. In this medium, you can actually interact, explore and change the things surround you. We can already hear your “Matrix” references. The resemblance is uncanny; though you can exit whenever you want!
The basic thing that distinguishes VR from 3D display technologies is immersing a person into this reality instead of leaving this person as a bystander. We explore our world by sensing and perceiving and virtual reality technologies actually manipulates our brains to create a sense and perception. As you can imagine, it is a delicate job to do and the metrics should be considered thoughtfully to do it right way. Nevertheless, there are two main components which are required to create a virtual reality environment: a source of content and a user device. In other words, software and hardware. These systems include goggles, headsets, all-directions treadmills and special gloves. There are certain metrics to measure sense of reality such as image resolution, field of view, refresh rate, motion delay, pixel persistence and audio/video synchronization. The main purpose of all these metrics is stimulating the sense of real presence and immersion.
As we have gone through the basic components and purpose of virtual reality technologies, here is the real question: How does it exactly work?
The Way That Virtual Reality Works
Technical funnel of virtual reality technologies is a complex and vast one. Soever we speak about tracking methods of virtual reality, the idea of our brain being tricked by computer generated medium is quite intriguing. Therefore, we intend to intensify on this dimension.
Virtual reality experiences are admiringly convincing and there is only one way to make it: manipulate our brains. VR is simply effective due to the fact that it mimics the experience we encounter and the qualities the real world around us. You may be confused about how it tricks the 5 really solid senses of you. Recent searches have been showing that people have variety of senses; for example sense of balance. Virtual technologies focus on complex senses to make the world they create as real as possible. Sensation means the ways our bodies bring information about the world around us; thus senses exist with the perception of our brains. In a nutshell, if you have the perception of reality, you think that you sense it!
Think about a battlefield in virtual reality. You hear the gun reports, people running around, scrape of axes and swords, the vibration, the sense of imbalance, wrinkling faces. Your brain interprets all these information and creates its own perception. At the end of this session what you have is a really convincing experience; in other words virtual reality.
Inevitably, you immerse into this reality and this brings another intensive question: how does virtual reality affect human behaviour?
Impacts of Virtual Reality on Human Behaviour
When it comes to how virtual reality affects human behaviour, there are two sides of the issue and it is definitely a controversial topic. Virtual reality might both have positive and negative effects on your real life. Let’s tackle the negative side of it first.
Virtual reality may leave you detached from the reality if you intensively immerse and spend remarkable time in the medium. Firstly when you are in a virtual reality session, you can not hear the voices around you, see the things in the place where you actually in. You are basically experiencing a simulation during this period of time instead your real surroundings. When you use the technology as a manner of running away from the realities of the actual world, you start to empathize with the creatures in simulation and more likely to feel alienated from the real people and nature surrounds you.
It also has a bright side though, because virtual reality can strengthen your sense of empathy. As we mentioned before, virtual reality is not all about entertainment and gaming; you can use these simulations to put yourself in another’s place. It can be also seen as a definitely encouraging development to create better communication amongst society.
Speaking of the usage areas of virtual reality, do you wonder in what extent could VR be used? Let’s have a quick look on this too!
Virtual Reality Promises a New Future to Many Different Businesses
Today, we are witnessing that VR shapes our future, the concept of experience and it already goes beyond gaming industry. Virtual reality enriches customer experience and contributes business development as well. Let’s have a quick look on the industries that has been changed by virtual technologies forever.
Currently VR technologies are used by healthcare professionals as a training method. Healthcare professionals are now able to prepare themselves for working on real bodies thanks to the virtual models. Also, VR simulations are in use to treat PTSD, anxiety and even for pain relief.
VR technologies may be such a relief for tourism professionals due to the fact that they have to create these simulations with their words and booklets. Today, holiday makers can have the opportunity of having a taste of their future experiences before they decide to travel thanks to convincingly realistic VR simulations.
VR has been revolutionizing the way that architects design and experiment with their works. Sense of reality is quite crucial for architectural designs; thus the technologies in this industry are rapidly developing. Today, it is beyond seeing a real living space; but feeling it. You can feel the way sun fills your house, the heat, texture; simply perception of the space. Isn’t this amazing?
Learning and Development
Learning and development industry is highly related with human experience. VR technologies gamifies this industry by creating real scenarios and real interactions. Moreover this makes trainings more accessible and undoubtedly more fun.
There are many other fields of work which start to use VR technologies to enrich customer experience as well as develop the vision of subjected businesses. There is still a big room for the use of VR technologies that waits to be explored and filled with innovative and creative ideas. One thing is for sure, VR has changed the way we experience, learn and develop things. Therefore, its future is quite exciting and the world of VR is full of wonder!