VR Technology And Lockdown
Across the globe, millions of people have been in lockdown within their homes. Even though businesses and public services have begun to reopen in some countries, many people have been reluctant to resume normal life and have been seeking solace in the digital realm. In fact, the use of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus has skyrocketed in recent months and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Similarly, video games ranging from Animal Crossing to PUBG have become increasingly popular as people search for a form of escapism.
So what’s next? Many say that the future lies in virtual reality (VR) technology. Social distancing restrictions need not apply in the virtual realm – instead, you can instantly transport yourself to your favorite country, historical site or outdoor landscape and explore to your heart’s content in a stress-free, safe manner. As a Little Black Book article
aptly put it;
“VR is the perfect lockdown partner due to its unique property — ”presence” — the feeling of being physically present in a virtual world. When you put on a VR headset, you are removed from the real world and transported to another. It is a very powerful sensation. With no distractions from social media or TV broadcasts, it really can provide a means of escape from the current confines of our reality.”.
Another brilliant aspect of VR technology is the ability to connect with people from afar. Yes, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime enable us to see and interact with our friends, family and work colleagues, but VR technology enables you to feel as if they are actually in the room with you! Moreover, you can use VR technology to set up presentations and display information to other people in a way that you would never have thought possible before. Imagine home tutoring if you could bring the subjects to life in VR. Or if you work in the office and need to present information to your colleagues – now you have an infinite amount of visual and auditory possibilities at your disposal.
The main barrier to entry that most people have to VR technology is the cost. After all, in these trying times it can seem reckless to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive VR headsets and equipment. Fortunately, VR technology has come a long way in recent years and is now far more affordable than ever before as more and more companies compete to offer consumers an impressive headset without the hefty price tag. As one XXXBios article
“Following the success of Oculus Rift’s headset prototypes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion. This move drastically changed the VR landscape because it lead to many large corporations such as Sony and Google investing heavily in VR technology. In fact, in 2014 Sony launched the first VR headset for the PS4 (‘Project Morpheus’) and Google unveiled the Google Cardboard affordable VR headset. Since purchasing Oculus VR, Facebook have invested over $250 million in VR content creation. Most notably, in December 2016 Oculus launched ‘Rooms’ and ‘Parties’ on Facebook which meant that users could now chat, make calls and socialise in a virtual setting via their VR headsets”.
Nowadays, you can buy VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest that are completely standalone headsets which require no connection to a PC. You can even purchase cardboard VR devices that attach to your smartphone and transform it into a headset! With all these possibilities at our fingertips, it seems highly likely that VR technology will become increasingly popular both during the lockdown and beyond.