What Are Virtual Reality Devices and Why Do They Matter?
It used to be that if you wanted to experience virtual reality, you had to wear 3D glasses. Video games were like their own form of virtual reality, but they were lacking something. You couldn't be part of the virtual world, not entirely.
Today, virtual reality devices bridge that gap between real life and a digital world. These devices can transform the way we see the world around us, as long as we're wearing the virtual reality headset.
What are these devices though? And why do they matter?
We will now explain the way people use virtual reality devices as well as the expected future of these devices in a variety of industries.
What Are Virtual Reality Devices?
Virtual reality devices are a form of augmented reality. These devices are worn on the head and over the eyes.
Otherwise, the wearer is unencumbered. That gives them total freedom to move around their environment.
So what is the environment like when using a virtual reality device? That depends.
In some situations, the wearer may be in a controlled environment. In others, they can roam free.
It is important to designate that the environment the wearer sees is not the actual environment in which they're in.
If you were wearing one of these devices in the middle of a city, for example, you would not see a city. You would see the environment dictated by the device.
This allows you to travel to worlds that you'd never get to see, whether because these are too far away or don't exist in our universe. These worlds can be fantastical or totally realistic.
As mentioned, with virtual reality devices, your movement is unencumbered. You're free to do what you want, whether that's explore your digital universe or just sit back and enjoy.
For instance, the elderly have taken to using these devices for relaxation or even distraction. These people may be in chronic pain or have mental afflictions.
By using virtual reality to see a soothing beach or other pleasant landscape, these pains don't seem so significant.
Younger people may use these devices to play around like they're living in a video game world. Some virtual reality games do exist in which a user must punch, kick, and do other physical stunts to win.
That's one of the biggest benefits of virtual reality, in that its uses can be so varied.
The technology that a virtual reality device utilizes is advanced. It's likely that as these devices become more commonplace that the technology will only continue to evolve.
There's the headset itself, which is called a haptic system. This means the headset utilizes motions and vibrations to make the environment seem that much more real.
Indeed, the wearer can hear what's around them in their virtual world. If something moves, they can see it and sometimes even feel it moving. This virtual world is designed to be as realistic as possible.
To make the experience even better, wearers may want to use headphones to drown out real outside noises. This creates a more enveloping experience.
Why Do They Matter?
On the surface, it seems that virtual reality devices are merely the next big form of video game entertainment. After decades of playing with handheld controllers, the next step seems to be wearing the controller on one's head.
This is correct, to an extent. That said, considering a virtual reality device as just a means of entertainment is severely limiting its potential.
Here are some other ways that virtual reality can improve lives.
Above, we mentioned how the use of virtual reality devices can distract patients with chronic pain.
The headsets are also used in therapy settings to help some patients work through their frustrations and other feelings. For those older patients slipping into dementia, these devices are especially beneficial.
In the future, these devices may even be used as a form of physical therapy, too. For instance, if a patient was in a coma and had woken up, they could wear a virtual reality headset and play through some puzzles. This would be a simple test of their cognitive abilities.
Then there are businesses of all kinds that can improve their marketing tactics by using virtual reality. Imagine product demonstrations being all-inclusive. Instead of limiting attendees because of lack of physical space, everyone could put on their headsets and watch.
Users would be able to see a 360-degree view of a product. They'd be able to imagine holding it in their hands and using it.
That would likely make for a very effective sales pitch.
Businesses that are brave enough to hop on the virtual reality train can also foster customer loyalty. For instance, by making interactive videos through virtual reality, a customer will be more likely to remember that company.
In today's age, businesses are always looking for opportunities to diversify. Virtual reality could be that opportunity.
These days, many consumers go see movies in IMAX theaters. These dome-shaped rooms allow them to experience movies in a novel way.
3D movies are also incredibly popular. Imagine, instead of having to wear paper glasses, strapping on a virtual reality headset. Movies and TV shows would certainly make a much bigger impact.
These would become can't-miss events.
Virtual reality devices are not new by any stretch of the imagination. But the technology is now catching up, making these devices the hot new thing.
These are more than trendy video games, though. Virtual reality can improve marketing efforts, movies, and other entertainment, and even act as a form of medical therapy.
If you haven't heard of virtual reality yet, you certainly will in the coming years. It's likely that eventually, everyone will have one of these devices, much like how common smartphones are.
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