Umair DinNews, Technology
Virtual Reality - A fantasy used in futuristic Hollywood movies is fast becoming a reality. With technology making huge advances day-to-day it appears that the next big thing to hit the consumer market will be VR headsets.
When virtual reality headsets are mentioned we think about the gaming industry, this is fitting, as Microsoft who own Xbox are developing their HoloLens product. Whilst their rivals Sony, who own the PS4 gaming system, are hard working on Project Morpheus for a 2016 release. This will bring a whole new world to gaming. Imagine playing FIFA at home wearing a VR headset; enabling you to feel like a real player gracing the Santiago Bernabéu turf alongside football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
What is important to realise though is virtual reality is not just restricted to gaming. This cutting edge piece of tech can be used in different environments. Take the healthcare industry for example -Surgeons mostly train on plastic models or bodies left to medical science. Training in the future could involve a ‘virtual specimen’ - This new approach to teaching can constantly challenge the surgeon whilst in a ‘real’ setting. This would allow for better training for those within the industry and produce more skilled entry level surgeons.
With online learning, students can wear this headset and have their ‘avatar’ sit down and take part in a live lecture whilst not being in the lecture hall. Although this will no doubt prove to be another excuse for lecturers to have a little moan…
VR has also proven to be a nifty tool for architects. They can demonstrate designs in a virtual format allowing the user to experience a unique way of observing blueprints and proposals. More importantly it allows them to see what they are actually building!
3-D movies - Step aside. VR enables movie directors to really engage their audience with their surroundings and makes you feel as if you are there. This will give a whole new meaning to the phrase “LOOK OUT!” in a movie as rocks tumble off a mountain in front of your eyes. With toolkits in development for VR movies it won’t be long until we are paying another extra tenner at the movie theatres.
The number one virtual reality piece of tech that gets discussed a lot is the Oculus Rift which will retail early in 2016. Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg purchased the company early last year and you are probably thinking what is a social network guru like Zuckerberg doing with a piece of tech mostly related to gaming. Well the answer is simple - It may just be the next big thing in social media!
Zuckerberg wrote: Oculus Rift "is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."
Sharing experiences and environments globally will result in better communication within the social networking world.
To conclude, I would like to think my original question has been rephrased in your mind from being -How will virtual reality affect me? To when will virtual reality affect me?
Umair Din, Marketing Intern, Nine Twenty