Opinion: The power of VR

Someone once famously said: “We are the middle children of history. Born too late to explore the earth, born too early to explore the stars.”

I once experienced an app called Titans of Space. I don’t have a memory of an app or playing a game, I have the memory of floating around the sun, stars and planets in our solar system because objects in virtual reality give you such a sense of immersion that they are real – and that’s the power of virtual reality.

It’s an experience that is so powerful it will change people’s lives. Palmer Lucky once showed me an early prototype of Oculus, which was literally held together by duct-tape when it was still a garage-made kick-starter project and even then, it blew me away.

Technology is rapidly evolving, and virtual reality is the next computing platform that will fundamentally change the way humans interact with computers. But delivering VR is complex, especially since immersive VR requires seven times the graphics processing power compared to traditional 3D applications and games. And it’s not only about the graphics; you also need to deliver physically realistic sound, touch, and behaviour to virtual worlds. Headsets will change from the bulky designs we see today, that many people may feel are too obtrusive for everyday use, and in the future, we will have super-lightweight devices that won’t be obtrusive at all – they will look sophisticated, futuristic and cool. The future will bring a much more natural and all-round intuitive way to interact with virtual worlds.

The largest hurdle with VR right now isn’t hardware requirements, pricing, nor content – these are looking better than ever and they are improving all the time. It’s more down to the fact that you really have to experience virtual reality to understand the value that it brings, not only to gaming and entertainment, but also to a broad range of other industries, like architecture, design, medical or education. Imagine being able to step inside your newly renovated house before you lay down the cash to begin the work, or as a doctor stepping inside the human body to learn about its inner workings. VR will create a better humankind, by preparing people for a better future, making people healthier, smarter and bertter equipped in the workplace.

From 3D gaming to product design, to cinematic experiences and beyond, VR will revolutionise how we interact with friends and family, how we consume entertainment, and how we get business done. I look at my three-year-old nephew – he’s one of those middle children of history, but I would argue that he was born at the exact right time. He was born at the right time to explore the earth, explore the stars and even take a journey inside the human body whenever he feels like it. All by the power of virtual reality. 

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