In recent decades, technological advances have been remarkable, and new technologies are very present in our lives. Nowadays, we are beginning to lift a little the veil on the great innovation that lies ahead: Virtual Reality (VR). Gradually we are already interacting with this new way of seeing the world in areas such as entertainment or on social networks.
The quality and functionality of VR devices are improving exponentially from year to year, opening up a new range of possibilities that are guaranteed to influence our lives in the not too distant future.
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Social Impact of Virtual Reality
In the world of entertainment, significant changes are expected with the arrival of virtual reality technologies, particularly in the world of gaming. When this theme comes up, most people immediately think of video games.
This industry, which moves millions of euros, is in constant search for new ways to capture the attention of its audience and, for that, nothing better than offering players an experience in which they are immersed in the game environment.
As headsets become less and less obstructive and more intuitive, this type of experience will become more and more common. However, this new world is not limited to “traditional” VR games.
This technology can also benefit the online gambling industry by bringing new life to online casinos, as the experience of playing online blackjack today is somewhat mechanical and emotionless. Now imagine that you take your place in a virtual casino and that you play against other virtual players, always with real money involved… Much better, right? This is an example of the potential that VR has in bringing the outside world into our home.
The real estate sector was one of the first branches of business to take advantage of the potential of VR. Through a virtual reality headset, potential buyers can visit the properties without wasting hours of their day scheduling a visit with the real estate agent.
Someone is not expected to buy a home without physically visiting it. However, it is possible to make the experience of looking for a homeless tiring by resorting to RV, eliminating, at the outset, some properties that the buyer does not like, just visiting them virtually.
The combination of virtual reality technologies with tourism is yet another combination with a lot of potentials. It allows, for example, to “visit” exotic places or try hotels on the other side of the world, avoiding possible unpleasant surprises even before you start with your real vacation.
Many of us have already taken classes and courses online, so it is only a matter of time before such levels become common. VR is a technology that will enhance this practice, allowing students from remote locations to attend classes and lectures that take place thousands of kilometers away.
The improvements brought by VR are not limited to practical aspects. Think of a student who has the opportunity to go back in time and learn Portuguese maritime discoveries in the 15th century in a much more interactive way. Imagine the additional motivation to learn that this type of experience can bring.
4. Social Networks
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, among other social networks. Have you ever imagined that, from one moment to the next, instead of just putting a ‘taste’ in a friend’s post, you could virtually visit the magnificent beach where he was? Have you ever thought that with VR, you can talk “in person” with a distant person instead of exchanging messages?
5. Sport and Fitness
So far, we have described a world where all socialization is done from the couch, which may lead one to believe that VR does not cover the areas of sport and fitness. This is something that couldn’t be more wrong!
Many of us have already spent long hours in the gym, exercising on treadmills or bicycles, in an environment of profound monotony. How exciting would it be to run with friends or take a Tour de France leg using VR technologies?
And when it is not possible to watch a live sporting event, how about putting on the VR headset and enjoying a game of tennis in the front row of Roland Garros? Have you ever thought that, with the VR, you could have watched the Euro 2016 final and feel the atmosphere of that unforgettable night, as if you were sitting on the central bench of the Stade de France?
All of this is just the beginning of a new reality that will impact our lives shortly. Our imagination imposes the only limits. The virtual future is coming, probably faster than you think.
How Does Virtual Reality Affect Us?
Although virtual reality may seem like a very new technology to us, back in the early ’90s, while Spanish children (now in their thirties) knew the plumber Mario or the hedgehog Sonic, Sega already had his virtual reality console ready, which by various problems, left in the drawer.
We have also been checking the last days in many Media such as the South Korean multinational Samsung has used its Samsung Gear VR glasses to promote its latest Smartphone, the Galaxy S7 Edge, conducting promotions in which it sold its two products in the form of a pack. This strategy is being successful.
All this only shows the strong bet by the technological giants so that virtual reality reaches everyone, and the problem is not going to be economical, Google markets its Cardboard VR glasses, which allow us to discover this virtual reality. For less than two euros.
But virtual reality, in addition to a new generation of games, applications and new functionalities for our consoles or our mobiles, can also produce side effects. The main problem and that has caused many people to remove their virtual glasses minutes after their first use, is the dizziness that can cause in some people.
Our brain expects our senses (sight, hearing, touch …) to act in perfect harmony. Still, when putting on a virtual reality headset or glasses, inconsistencies occur due to lack of synchronization, saving distances, it would be similar to what happens to us when we travel by car, our sense of hearing detects movement, but we remain static for our brain, the brain does not like to be fooled, and therefore it responds with nausea and dizziness.
On the other hand, people who have vision problems are not comfortable with these VR glasses; it seems obvious, they suffer a sensation similar to that of wearing 3D glasses, it produces tired eyesight, after all, we see images in three dimensions which can aggravate the vision problems that we have, in addition to that it is already uncomfortable per se to put some glasses on top of others.
We must also take into account in terms of vision, the low resolution (640×800 pixels in each eye) and the refresh rate (60hz) that is being used, for example, in the current OculusRift that can cause us to move an effect of blur similar to what we can have when we have drunk more than we should. On the other hand,
This technology, which is booming at the moment, will allow us to live a new reality, a reality in which we can be another, and this can bring serious problems. If we have already verified in the video games that exist in the market how some gamers conceive the world of their virtual self as their rightful place of residence and their real person as “second life”, imagine how they will design this “second life” now that virtual reality immersed them both in the life of their hommovirtualis (hitherto known as an avatar).
Let’s also keep in mind that video games like World of Warcraft have their virtual currencies, which can be converted into real money as bitcoins do; this fact makes it very palatable to hackers, so much so that more than three are released every day Millions of malware attacks to get online gaming user accounts.
It is that for a “challenger” account of the League of Legends video game you can pay up to a thousand euros. But in addition to these “virtual” crimes against heritage, to the extent that virtual reality facilitates such great hyperrealism and we feel so identified with our hommovirtualis, the door is opened for more virtual crimes to be perpetuated, and not so virtual, because the victimological consequences will be suffered from a real prism.
Theft of gaming accounts, usurpation of virtual identities, virtual threats and coercion, virtual kidnappings, cases of cyberbullying and virtual grooming, etc. … are already the order of the day.
In 2007 the Belgian Federal Police investigated a matter in the which through malware, a man took control of a woman’s avatar in the well-known game SecondLife, he used this control to sexually (and virtually) violently and graphically assault the woman, for the police, it was a case of unauthorized access to a computer system but perhaps from a victimological point of view as we have said before, for the victim it was a practically real violation.
Finally, we must not stop thinking that virtual reality can also be an opportunity for terrorist organizations to the extent that this technology can be used as a way to raise funds or recruit personnel. The statement may seem chaotic to some, but it should not be forgotten that Hezbollah has already produced its own first-person video game in which the user wins if she becomes a suicide martyr perpetrating a successful attack.
Contrary to all this, virtual reality, in addition to a new way of playing and new functionalities for our devices and even new forms of advertising, can also carry numerous benefits for everyone.
According to a study carried out by University College London and the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Resources, patients with depression have managed to reduce their symptoms through virtual reality therapies significantly.
It can also bring benefits for people with vision problems, thanks to the google cardboard glasses that allow stereoscopic images to be projected, Bonny, a woman who suffers from an ocular pathology that damages retinal photoreceptors, can put a face on her family for the first time. Time in eight years. As always when there is a technological advance of this magnitude,
Impact of Virtual Reality on The Economy
How virtual reality and augmented reality are transforming business, and the economy ‘- whose original title is’ Seeing is believing. How virtual reality and augmented reality are changing industry, and the economy’ -, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will have an impact of up to one and a half-trillion dollars in the world economy in 2030.
According to the study, these technologies will have a positive impact, especially in healthcare, product development and retail. Also, they will lead to a significant increase in the income of the companies that make use of them.
By country, the United States will benefit the most from the application of AR AND VR. The economic impact in 2030 is estimated to reach $ 537 billion, which would lead to an increase in its GDP of 2.83%. China and Japan follow, with 183,300 and 143,200 million, respectively. In Europe, Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom and France stand out, in that order.
Regarding the number of jobs that will also experience a positive impact, China leads the list, with more than 6.8 million jobs affected—followed by the US with 2.3 million and Japan with 533,155.