This year could be the year that virtual reality takes off as Samsung, HTC, Sony and Oculus all prepare to launch their VR headsets to the public. But if 2015 is the beginning of everyday VR, how will it change the world in the future?
NEW WAYS TO RELAX
For VR to change the world, it’ll need to be a big money maker. And for that to happen, it needs to be something we all want. So the first thing to be revolutionised by VR will be the time we take for ourselves.
It’ll start with the simple stuff, movies and games will become immersive virtual worlds and the likes of Facebook will find whole new uses (imagine being able to stroll through your friends’ 3D photos). But it’s not hard to imagine a time when we’ll give up on walks through parks in favour of a virtual walk through far-flung, or even imaginary, scenery.
NO MORE ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’ POSTCARDS
After we’ve perfected using virtual reality for relaxing, it’ll become a new way to communicate. We’ve all sent and received cheesy postcards before, but when you go on holiday in the future, you might just sent back a VR model of where you are so friends and family really can be there.
The same idea would work really well when you’re searching for a new home. You wouldn’t have to travel from house to house to have a look around, just pop on your VR goggles and browse virtual homes.
Virtual reality will eventually completely alter the way we train skilled professionals like surgeons. They could do operations thousands of times in the virtual world, replicating the exact conditions of operating on a real living person without any risk.
There are loads of professions where being able to practice without the life-threatening risk would make a real difference. Potential astronauts could get a better feel for the International Space Station, or a fire fighter could experience the challenges of a burning building before their first fire.
MORE EFFICIENT SEARCH AND RESCUE
Beyond training fire fighters, search and rescue missions in general could become much safer and more efficient. Small robots could be sent into collapsed buildings to search for survivors while their operators see everything as if they were in the danger zone. A VR view would make navigating through unstable debris much easier too.
Whether it’s making us more relaxed or saving lives, virtual reality will undoubtedly change the world we live in. But do you think it’ll change for the better? Let us know in the comments below.