Virtual reality is a concept that seems a million miles away from being a part of our everyday life. For starters, what will it cost, and will that cost be reasonable for the average person? Underling steps have been taken in the world of gaming, but the predictions for the uses of virtual reality are far-reaching, with a scope of education, tourism, and physical or mental disorders.
With the arrival of introductory virtual reality such as Google Cardboard and Oculus, we are starting to see just how addictive and in-depth this new technology could be. But how can it benefit you in your everyday life?
Furthering your imagination
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you fall, and you are jolted awake by the sensation? This is called a hypnic jerk, and it happens because the brain thinks it is real, despite it being merely a visual sensation. The same devices are in play when you engage in virtual reality experiences. Pair that with surround sound and smell, and you can be forgiven for thinking what you’re experiencing is 100% real.
Virtual reality explores places your imagination cannot. As VR companies are developing technologies that engage more of the senses, entering into a VR world will become more and more real to the person in it. Watching nature documentaries will turn into being in nature; roaming amongst wild animals, inhaling the aroma of nearby plants and hearing sounds of life from every angle. What you will take away from these experiences will be so much greater as your mind was tricked into thinking you were really present. Your memory of the events will increase, as well as your empathy, understanding, and certainly heart rate!
Many scientists argue that using avatars in a virtual world can aid in cases of low self-esteem and even certain personality traits. If you spend time using an avatar that you have chosen to be attractive, you may act with more confidence in the VR world. If you choose an avatar that is younger than yourself, you may find yourself acting in a more youthful and energetic manner. These traits can be carried on in your normal life, and some scientists believe that this technology can extend to the treatment of depression.
Mental and physical disorders
As an extension of self-image, VR has already been used to treat people with severe phobias and even PTSD. Having glossophobia, a fear of speaking in public, can be a debilitating condition, and conquering it can involve many embarrassing episodes along the way. Instead of facing the possibility of humiliation in front of hundreds, you can slowly overcome your fear in the privacy of your own goggles.
In school, if you had had the option of choosing between reading about the American Civil War or experiencing it through the eyes of someone who was there, what would you have chosen? As education is something that is always progressing and developing, textbook learning is becoming a thing of the past in many ways. It isn’t hard to see why a virtual reality experience is more engaging than reading a massive piece of text, whether or not you’re a child. The dream of many people is to see education using this new technology. Why read for hours on end when you can ingest the same information from a virtual scuba dive, or virtual battle?
Virtual reality is already in use in educational settings, like David Attenborough’s First Life virtual reality experience at the London Natural History Museum. In this 15-minute delve into the very first creatures on earth, visitors can explore and interact with history itself.
VR can prove a huge money saver when it comes to work and careers. International meetings will become as easy as plugging yourself into a network, and urgent messages can be communicated more clearly and speedily. Even occupations such as surgeons and astronauts will benefit, with the ability to navigate the inner workings of a human body before surgery, or a spaceship before take off.
One of the biggest advantages of VR is the way in which it engages the brain. Presenting the brain with images stimulates the visual cortex. Visual thinking or learning has multiple benefits: memory retention, faster learning, and clearer thinking. Solving a problem becomes much easier when it is laid out in front of you.
We see visual learning occur more and more in modern technology, and at InsightNG, we are developing Your Smartest Friend, a tool to kick start your project. Whether you are studying, preparing an assignment at work, or simply working on a home venture, Your Smartest Friend is the stepping stone into the world of virtual reality.
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