What can we expect from VR or Virtual Reality in future?

Virtual reality is very much a buzz topic at the moment with the platform experiencing a resurgence in development and popularity thanks to the evolution of technology to allow for the spectacular advancement of software and hardware.

It has been a whirlwind last 18 months for virtual reality with the platform coming in from the cold to the warmth of homes of millions of users across the globe. There had been indications that virtual reality was on the comeback in the early 2010s. Nintendo filed a patent for the use of VR technology in 2013 and Facebook purchased the VR headset development firm Oculus VR for a staggering $2 billion back in 2014.

The past year has seen the products finally start to hit the market. Developer Samsung introduced their Samsung Gear virtual reality headset to users in November 2015. This signaled a new dawn for VR technology. The Oculus Rift followed soon after in March 2016 and just one month later HTC partnered with Valve Corporation to release the HTC Vive in April 2016.

The technology was also used to an extent to contribute towards the huge success of the mobile gaming app Pokémon GO which was released during the summer of 2016. Using camera and VR technology, the game allows players to seek Pokémon characters in a real-world environment.

Things stepped up another level in October 2016 when computer console developer Playstation launched their Playstation VR onto the market with a range of highly-anticipated titles to play on the headset making it one of the most immersive and interactive VR headsets to date.

Where Next?

Many feel this is only the beginning of virtual reality’s renaissance. VR has already been used beyond the realms of entertainment with Google using the technology for their Street View app that can allow users to put themselves on a street of their choice in Google Maps in a first-person perspective.

VR has also been used in areas such as education, training, engineering, archaeology, medicine, architecture, retail, fitness, and even pornography to allow users the chance to see things from a more unique perspective that had not been previously possible. Being able to take a first-person perspective of pipework in buildings, arteries in the human body, and underground passages out of human sight are all now possible and will become even more realistic and detailed over the coming years.

Pornography is a controversial area. Companies such as Naughty America and Kink have used VR technology in some of their productions over the past year. It has drawn a lot of criticism with some negative reactions suggesting it increases the risk of pornography becoming more of a social problem.

The same could be said for online casino gaming. Live casinos have offered first-person perspectives at the casino tables for a number of years now but the limitations have always been well documented. Taking this new evolved VR technology gives casino software developers the chance to offer gamers a true virtual reality experience of a casino. The smells, the touch, the sights, and the thrills to a degree that has never been thought imaginable. The way that casino gaming has transferred onto the mobile platform offers the opportunity for Android or iPhone casino goers to potentially experience the adrenalin rush of the casino anytime and any place.

The Pros and the Cons

It has always been a subject for art discussing the pros and cons of advanced virtual reality technology. It is, in fact, a hot topic in popular culture right now with the hit HBO drama Westworld drawing millions of viewers each week. The show covers a virtual reality theme park where the artificial intelligence is becoming self-aware.

These fears that the technology may manifest itself in a form humanity cannot handle are always going to be prevalent when artificial intelligence and computerized technology is used. The 1992 movie The Lawnmower Man covered potential outcomes of virtual reality technology getting into the wrong hands and being manipulated for the wrong reasons.

Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom. The future for virtual reality does look stable and it does appear to be positive. The potential benefits that virtual reality could bring to society far outweigh the negative possibilities. New VR technology opens the gateway for humans to experience things they would not have thought conceivable until recent months. It allows humanity to take a new approach to solving age-long problems like how to cure disease, how to be more eco-friendly, and how to evolve better as a race. It also gives every individual on this planet the chance to experience their dreams even if they thought they would never be possible. Whether you feel ecstatic or anxious about the re-emergence of virtual reality into the mainstream, you cannot deny you are, at the very least, intrigued.