The Future of Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for some time now, with the first goggles and gloves being developed as early as the mid-1980s by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research. Nearly 40 years later and this technology has become integrated into the mainstream and is now something the public can access and use. Many of us will have had the chance to use VR or see it in action, whether it’s been at a theme park, a VR center or having a turn on a friend’s headset.Virtual Reality is particularly well known for its impact on the gaming and entertainment industry, with consoles and handhelds adapting to allow users to experience this new way of gaming. VR has transformed the gamer experience entirely, as the connection between the game and the player is brought far close together, as gamers become completely immersed in their own gaming world.
But the gaming and entertainment industry is not the only sector being transformed by VR, with the technology being incorporated into areas such as healthcare, retail and education. VR has already proved to be greatly beneficial in these sectors, with it being used to help patients suffering from anxiety relax, and also help students learn by experiencing what they are being educated a lot more.
But what will be the impact of VR in the next 30 years and how will some of the biggest industries change as a result?
RS Components have created a graphic revealing 10 of the most exciting predictions set to happen with VR over the next 50 years. From headsets taking the simple form of sunglasses, experiencing what life on Mars would really be like and being able to overcome some of your biggest phobias and fears, VR is set to transform the world as we know it. Question is, are you ready?
2021 – Augmented Reality and VR are set to merge and make a new virtual friend
In just two years’ time, technology will be able to create an experience for humans where we are unable to tell the difference between the virtual and real world, with the merging of augmented reality and VR.
Michael Abrash, the Oculus chief scientist who made this prediction states the challenges of reconstructing the real world, and states that augmented VR will be an integral part of virtual reality. Abrash also expresses that merging these will see a technology that is used for longer and many more uses than it can be today. Whilst more work needs to be done, Abrash is confident that a technology will emerge where the boundary between virtual reality and real life will be far more blurred and unclear.
In the same year, we are set to see virtual humans appear in our society, being used to keep us company. Whilst achieving expressions from our virtual friends may not be realistic in two years’ time, we will still be able to hang out with our new technologically-created friends and experience a completely new style of social interaction.
2025 – Virtual headsets will look like sunglasses
Virtual headsets are relatively large and chunky in the present day, as different brands attempt to make them look slicker each year. As technology becomes more advanced, devices are known to become smaller and more delicate in size. The same is set to happen to VR headsets, with 2025 set to see them take the style of sunglasses. This is a huge reduction in size for these headsets and will allow the technology to be used far more smoothly for users as a result, particular for those that are not comfortable with wearing the current bulkier headset.
2030 – Experience life on Mars
Whilst some of the world’s most famous billionaires are promising us trips to outer space and even Mars, the ticket prices predicted for these flights are astronomical, and will be something reserved for the small percentage that can afford it.
Fortunately for us, virtual reality will be able to provide the experience many of us would love, allowing us to see what life on Mars is really like and also what it feels like to travel into space. Not only is this a great alternative, for those of us that cannot afford a real ticket to this red planet, this technology will also be greatly beneficial for those working in the space industry wanting to use it for training purposes. Virtual reality’s help to experience life on Mars will allow development and research to take place that will help more sustainable human missions.
2030 – Overcome your greatest fears with VR
The feeling of fear is a natural human reaction, with nearly all of us experiencing it to some extent. For some of us, these sensations can develop into phobias, which can have a huge effect on our day-to-day lives. From harmless spiders, flying in a plane, and clowns, our fears can have a real impact on our mental health if not managed, and can become a challenge many of us struggle to overcome throughout our whole lifetime.
By 2030, virtual reality will help those suffering from a particular phobia, by being implemented into the healthcare industry to help people face and overcome their fears. VR will be able to virtually transport the patient into a conflict situation so that they are facing the exact thing they are so desperate to avoid. This will be greatly beneficial to both the medical industry and the patient, by considerably helping people manage their fears and eventually overcoming them.
2050 – the rise of virtual reality changing rooms
Online shopping has risen by staggering amounts over the last decade, which comes as no surprise as people can do their clothes shopping from the comfort of their own home. One of the current disadvantages of online retail shopping is buying something that doesn’t fit or simply doesn’t look right, but virtual reality is set to remove this altogether. By 2050, the high street is set to be replaced with consumers able to try on clothes in virtual reality changing rooms, where they will be able to see how items fit on them as well as being advised by AI shop assistants that can cater to your tastes exactly. In your lifetime, you will have your own virtual shopping assistant.
Are you ready for a more virtual world in the next 50 years?