Virtual Reality

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality literally means what the name infers. It accesses a virtual emulation of reality and you can access knowledge or a visual environment while sitting in the comfort of your very own bedroom. Virtual Reality which is also known as VR is, in other words, a three-dimensional environment which is computer-generated, it is also called a form of near-reality because a person immersed in a virtual program cannot differentiate between the real world and a computer-simulated one. 

A VR simulator usually consists of a number of devices that enable the computer-generated program to enable our senses to adapt to the three-dimensional near-reality. Headsets, special gloves and Omni-directional treadmills are used, to say the least to stimulate our senses. In a way, we are confusing our brain and creating an illusion and we need our sense receptors to integrate into the computer simulation that is why these devices are needed.

Virtual reality is now accessible to the public as many companies have readily adapted and created different forms of VR to add value to their products and operating systems. Samsung, Facebook and HTC are some of the companies who have introduced their own Virtual Reality Sets to add value and give a different experience to their customers. Virtual Reality can change the way we have approached the world in a number of different ways and gaining knowledge and growth can be obtained in an expansive way that wasn’t present before. However, nothing comes without having consequences.

Benefits of Virtual Reality

There are a number of fields that can reap benefits from the commercialization of virtual reality. VR would expand our horizons and bring about massive advances in a number of fields. Outside the world of professionalism, it would massively improve the leisure and entertainment sector which as we have seen is the thing that human beings value the most after a tough day at work! Virtual Reality can create a safe controlled environment which involves little or no risk at all. Virtual Reality improves retention and recall by providing realistic scenarios which would not have dire consequences even if you were to fail at a serious task at hand. 

Above all VR provides a space for people with different learning styles to excel in a field according to their own methods. Imagine going to flying school and instead of risking your life and the lives of other every time you fly to complete your flying hours you could use virtual reality to become the best pilot anyone has ever seen. Adults in medical schools could use virtual reality to actually practice operations and medical procedures instead of operating on frogs. Architects and development planners could design entire cities and the clients could have an exact view and feel of how their house would look like years before it even gets complete. You could use the help of virtual reality to virtually travel anywhere in the world using google maps or even step out into a simulated version of space. 

Have you seen the thriller Total Recall which was a huge success in 1990? Just imagine if you could do that in real life, instead of saving up all year to get that family vacation you could travel half the world and you wouldn’t even have to leave the room. Military soldiers have been using virtual reality for years to perfect their skill and expanding further into virtual reality would reap massive benefits and without any risk. The world would be your playground as you could even sign up for any course or any degree all over the world and you could be attending classes in Argentina and you’d still be sitting in your bedroom. The Cinema Industry would benefit massively because you can only imagine how watching a sci-fi movie could add up to an experience in a lifetime. Human beings as a species would move lightyears ahead in terms of efficiency and productivity, however, there is a price to pay for great things.

Consequences of Virtual Reality

Human beings by nature can be classified as being self-destructive as a whole. We have shown tendencies in the past of abusing things which could have been to our benefit. Virtual Reality provides a number of benefits however it does even have consequences related to health and social behaviour. There are three main cons that I can list down which will cause issues to our race because of the commercial use of virtual reality. Namely
  1. Addiction
  2. Loss of human connections
  3. Health Effects
Addiction can be a major issue as someone who spends a colossal amount of time in VR would prefer it over his reality and this can be especially dangerous for social networking websites where you can make your own avatars and look exactly how you would want to look if you had a magic lamp. This would cause an identity crisis amongst abusers leading to mental health issues such as depression. The health effects associated with extended use of VR are dizziness, nausea, loss of spatial awareness and disorientation. 

In VR you can see the world, changed climates and scenarios but you can’t feel it, automatically our body feels cheated and rejects what our brain waves are feeding it. The loss of human connections would be a major blow in human beings as a society. People will not feel the need to have real connections with people. 

Studies have shown with advancements in science and technology, loneliness has increased amongst us, we become isolated and our emotional intelligence is shrinking with time and virtual reality would only add to this. Social growth and interactions are very important for our species and without it we decline back to the time when we had no compassion or empathy to one another. Virtual Reality could seriously harm us socially which will also decrease happiness and satisfaction amongst humans.