5 Ways VR Will Change Your Life! Travel, Gaming, Shopping, Exploration, and Relationships
If you’re still undecided about the addition of a VR headset to your tech locker, here’s a reason for every digit on your right hand why VR is gonna rock your world.
Firstly, if you’re in the habit of long-distance travel in anything other than first class, chances are you have experienced one of those trips where you dream of an escape from the tight confines and ambient noise of engine-whir and fellow passengers – we’ve all been there!
If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of escapism at the movie theatre where, once the lights are dimmed, the screen seems to magnify in size, as the world around you shrinks into insignificance, then you’ve had a taste of the VR experience.
VR is like that, but more so – headsets bringing you much the same experience. Only, it’s a private cinema, collapsible down to the size of a sports sneaker, or smaller:
Just another item in your carry-on, but one that transports you to any number of alternate realities provided by any of the great minds of writers and directors who are now offering VR content.
Guillermo Del Toro VR
And it’s that same immersive quality VR brings to movie watching, that reinvents the gaming experience (for most, this is the primary connotation of VR). Familiar as we are with the First-Person Shooter, and as much as this genre has grown in sophistication or even reached the peak of its development on flat or even curved screens, VR takes the experience to a whole new level – seemingly the platform FPS was always made for. The depth of immersion provided to FPS players in VR format is demonstrated by the increased range of movement seen in the player’s body.
We may all have memories of handing a joypad to our parents and laughing hysterically as they twisted and turned the controller at all angles, to move a corresponding object on the screen. We had long surpassed them in our knowledge that only our thumbs were required to complete the same action, hunched as we were, either on the sofa or flat on the floor, staring up at a tv screen.
The VR gaming experience and certainly the VR, FPS gaming experience is a far more involving affair. Although thumbs and forefingers may still grip at controllers, the visual component of VR forces the player’s head, rather than simply their eyes to move in search of new targets or threats. This rotation and tilt of the head and neck transfer down into the shoulders and even the hips. Such movement is one reason why you often see VR players in a standing position. Playing an FPS in VR heightens your senses and is more than likely to bring you to your feet, such is the level of
engagement it inspires.
If escapism is high up your list of activities, VR takes you much deeper into both gaming and movie experiences, through its more encompassing visual experience and its ability to increase your physical involvement in the gaming process.
The strengths of VR as an escape while enduring arduous long-distance travel and as a means to take gaming to another level are no great challenge to get your head around. But what about attention-grabbing aspects of VR that offer clear benefit to users beyond merely entertainment or escape?
The educational applications for VR are stacked up in favour of any real-world pursuit that revolves around physical space. VR excels in both preparing users for dangerous or complex navigation or a mix of education / entertainment in experiencing physical spaces that are beyond human reach.
In terms of human exploration, the realms of both space and deep water here on earth offer some of the most challenging of unchartered territories. Cave diving for example, has in recent years, served as a petri-dish for the testing and development of unmanned vehicles which may serve humans well in the equally precarious setting of deep space.
Such vehicles become our eyes and ears, and are invaluable for understanding environments still hostile to human life. As UAVs return images of previously unseen corners of our universe, VR picks up the baton as a means of processing such invaluable content through 360-degree video, allowing comprehensive access to every nook and cranny of newly discovered worlds.
Diver Alberto Nava in the SunCAVE: http://chei.ucsd.edu/2018/02/09/using-a-virtual-cave-to-explore-a-real-one/
SPACEVR WANTS TO TAKE YOU TO OUTER SPACE
For those brave enough to follow in the footsteps of drones and exploration bots, becoming the first of our kind to enter strange new realms, the acts of navigating and piloting vehicles with human cargo carry with them high degrees of risk. What better way to prepare for such daring missions, than through VR simulation, creating a situation almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Whether you see yourself as the next NASA test pilot or not, using VR to prepare yourself prior to visiting spaces on earth may something that becomes second nature to VR users everywhere. Traverse an airport prior to arrival, explore the Great Pyramid without the crowds, even follow in the footsteps of space travellers, or deep-sea research drones but with zero percent of the risk. Far from a distraction during long-haul flights, VR gives users the opportunity to embark on virtual travel and prepare for navigational tasks, be it the streets of old town, or an ocean crossing. Or even the beautiful Dalmatian coast in Croatia: https://veervr.tv/videos/Croatia36
5 Best VR Headsets For Travel Apps
In stark contrast there are also more mundane activities that call out for VR utilisation – shopping for example.
Perusing a vendor’s stock for new or familiar items is a time-consuming process, one not aided by the conventional vertical-scrolling nature of a typical web browser. The appeal of online shopping is that it saves travel time and can soon be automated, from past shopping habits, however, what benefits does physical access to products offer and how about the medium reached by VR simulation?
Here we turn our attention to VR controllers and possibilities they contain for mimicking the sensitivity of the human hand as a gauge of a products tactile qualities, material properties and weight.
Light, thin VR gloves put wearers in touch with virtual objects
VR controllers, although currently much in the image of game controllers, or the computer mouse, perhaps offer as much of an immersive and life-like experience in terms of their grasp and mimicry of the sense of touch, as VR goggles play to our sense of sight.
The ripeness of fruit and vegetables (prior to consumption) being determined by the combined senses of sight, touch and smell, make for an interesting challenge for the development of VR and the peripherals that are being developed to accompany goggles turning VR into a multi-sensory experience.
For example did you know that the introduction of smell to the VR experience is something already being trialled and gloves that provide sensory feedback to the user are nothing new. Certainly, the strength of VR as a medium for perusing the ‘shelves’ of online stores will be aided by the additional sensory feedback provided by sensory gloves and smell simulation, allowing shoppers to hold and indeed squeeze products in their hands as even their smell becomes tangible.
FEELREAL BRINGS SENSE OF SMELL TO VIRTUAL REALITY
Much as we know VR as primarily a gaming platform, science fiction has hinted at the possibilities of VR for another kind of play. If long distance relationships have been brought closer by the options afforded to lovers to interface on various platforms, such as video calls, then VR and indeed the sensory development of the VR experience offer what has been hinted at in movies and certain headlines – bringing two people together into a simulated, physical experience without being in physical proximity. Sensory suits, already a part of VR peripherals take the place of real human to human contact, sensory gloves allowing for realistic sensations of touch and well, additional peripheral devices allowing for the culmination of the act.
Considering becoming a VR owner?
Which of these 5 things most inclines you to making VR a part of your life?
Let us know in the comments below and we’d love to hear why!