Ask Tech Effect: Should I Get Into Virtual Reality?
The technological revolution is bringing us new technologies almost every day. You have new tools to work with, conveniences that you can’t live without, and gadgets that give us futuristic experiences.
Two of the biggest trends in technology are artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Everyone’s heard about artificial intelligence and the threat it can pose to human society. But what about virtual reality? Why isn’t anyone talking about that?
Virtual reality seems like the sort of gadget you would find in children’s shows or science fiction. In fact, it’s a real thing that you can experience for yourself. Samsung has even packaged virtual reality with some of its phones, highlighting the direction that companies want to take with virtual reality.
Thinking about virtual reality is also a big jump from artificial intelligence. For the first time in a while, we’re not talking about something that can potentially hurt us. We are talking about technology that is all about new experiences.
With new experiences however, comes a lot of development. Unlike artificial intelligence, virtual reality isn’t a field that has promised a lot of benefits, nor is it the sort of thing that often seen as more than a gimmick.
Despite that, virtual reality is a technology that promises to bring value to our lives by allowing us to experience things that we normally wouldn’t be able to given our limited resources and circumstances.
Is Virtual Reality Actually A Thing?
If you’re not interested in technology, it will definitely seem like virtual reality is a fringe technology that people say they will work on, but hasn’t gotten past anything more than just seeing grass and trees.
The reason people may think virtual reality isn’t a large technological trend is because if you’re not in the realm of video games or imagery, you aren’t seeing it in everyday life.
Unlike artificial intelligence, where the benefits can be imagined in the form of smart technology and increased productivity, the benefits of virtual reality aren’t seen as impressive. You can mostly see virtual reality being used when you want to experience something that you normally can’t.
The experiences being used for virtual reality can go far beyond simple location changes. If you look at what virtual reality can do now, it can help people interact with environments that they normally wouldn’t experience, like work environments.
People can interact with the world in ways that they previously wouldn’t be aware of. A variety of industries are starting to see the benefits of virtual reality, and are investing money, even creating products and services around them.
It’s true that even with industries adopting virtual reality technology, it can be hard for people to imagine virtual reality. It’s also true that the technology isn’t ready for everyone, nor is everyone actually interested.
With the progress we are making in technology however, expect to see more news about virtual reality. You might even be able to find out how virtual reality could help your business.
Can People Actually Use Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is said to help people experience things that they normally couldn’t in an environment. It sounds great for experiencing countries you don’t want to travel to, but can this actually be used in a productive way?
Of course it can.
People have their own way of learning, but many people won’t deny that visual learning is a very effective way to learn. Being able to test out ideas, concepts and drafts is something that everyone can enjoy.
If you’ve ever seen previews of graphics before they are produced, or viewed a 3D model, or even if you’ve used Google Maps to look at the local neighbourhood, you’ve seen a benefit to virtual reality.
Instead of being a passive observer though, as most people are right now, virtual reality can make you an active observer.
Imagine being able to experience a sample property and imagine how things would look if all the furniture and colours were all laid out in front of you.
But instead of just seeing it, you could actually move the objects around, change colours on a whim, and even experience walking around the house for the first time.
That changes a lot, especially since you’re in control of the changes.
Now to be fair, virtual reality is always going to remain virtual, and it’s never going to beat the real experience. But greater interaction with the environment is something that can help you make better decisions.
You can see the power that this has for business owners, employees, and customers. You might even see this being used at a governmental level, with politicians now experiencing things for themselves.
Why Isn’t Virtual Reality More Common?
One might ask why, compared to artificial intelligence for example, virtual reality isn’t as widely seen. After all, everyone knows the virtual assistants on their phone, has seen robots being used for services and has heard of self-driving cars.
Compared to that, all you might have heard of are virtual reality headsets that feel bulky. Why is virtual reality seemingly far behind other technologies?
Making an experience for another person is extremely hard. It’s not easy to get everything right to make sure that the experience is worthwhile. The technology has to simulate the experience, which means far more effort is involved in the production.
That’s why early versions of virtual reality don’t seem like anything impressive. Whether it’s experiencing a frozen tundra or going down a snowy hill on a luge, it sounds nice but it doesn’t sound like anything amazing.
In fairness, that’s mainly because most of the experiences virtual reality provides are experiences we can imagine for ourselves. Of course, imagination is not the same as reality, but compared to the intrigue and wonder of virtual reality, it’s hard to want something we could experience for ourselves.
The counter argument would be that it isn’t likely that you would be going up a snowy mountain very often, or doing any of the experiences that you imagine yourself doing. Either way, the ability to imagine is enough for most people.
Compare this to artificial intelligence, which promises to make your life more convenient. Even if you could imagine this, it’s something you desperately want. Even if you imagine it, it’s something that you want to experience for yourself. Artificial intelligence can give you solid improvements.
Everyone loves tangible benefits, or something that they can get after something happens. Virtual reality, while nice, won’t give you anything but the thrill of the experience, which can be done in other ways.
Also, while everyone is perfectly happy to pay for expensive gadgets such as phones, tablets and other devices, virtual headsets are not a common product that everyone wants in their homes just yet.
This means people are finding it harder to get funding for virtual reality projects than other technology areas.
That doesn’t mean there’s no investment in virtual reality, far from it. But the lack of attention and focus on virtual reality means it’s probably not the most anticipated technology you are going to stores to buy.
Is It Something I Should Buy?
The biggest question everyone wants to know is, should you buy virtual reality products?
The answer to that depends on how much you love technology and the need you can see.
Virtual reality is undoubtedly a fun technology everyone would like to experience, but when it comes out to paying for it, people are far more hesitant.
To be fair, this is a problem for all technology, but because it’s hard to put a price on experiences that don’t last long (and don’t have pictures that you can post on social media), virtual reality isn’t on the top of many people’s purchase lists.
But if you can find a good use for virtual reality in your life, whether you enjoy a growing industry in video games or want to use virtual reality to provide an experience for your customers, it is certainly an option worth investigating, as virtual reality can be a powerful persuasion tool.
At the end of the day, it is all about your appetite for future technology, and whether you can see a need for it. It’s a technology that is only getting more advanced, and we could be seeing more industries adopt it.
Now that you know a bit more about virtual reality and its uses, you are in a better position to decide if it’s right for you.
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