Virtual reality can change the world
I have had the chance to visit the Digital Media Experience (DME) over at Ryerson University. This lab contains some of the most advanced digital media tools currently available. I had the opportunity to try out the Oculus Rift.
What is Oculus Rift?
Oculus Rift is a portal into virtual reality. This portal into virtual reality is simply a pair of goggles that are connected to a computer. Once the goggles are on, the user is essentially in another world. Depending on the content, the user can be at the bottom of the ocean swimming with the fishes, in the sky flying with the birds, or even exploring a haunted house. “The Rift accomplishes this using a pair of screens that displays two images side by side, one for each eye. A set of lenses is placed on top of the panels, focusing and reshaping the picture for each eye, and creating a stereoscopic 3D image” (Smith, 2016). There are sensors that monitors the users’ head movements to create the 3D experience. With such features, this device is capable of creating a virtual reality experience like none other.
Oculus Rift is really a way to step into another dimension. When I tried those goggles, I tried this game which gave me control of a toy airplane. Using a controller and the goggles, I was able to fly the airplane all over the landscape. Movement of my head dictated the direction of the plane, and certain buttons were used to control the plane. The experience was so realistic that I felt dizzy after taking off the goggles. I flew the plane in all angles, upside down, and performed all the plane maneuvers. This shows how powerful the experience can be. Furthermore, I played a horror game, where I was exploring a haunted house. The imagery, along with the sounds made the experience so realistic, that I actually felt anxious playing the game. The scary feeling was so realistic that I had goosebumps as I turned every corner or entered a new room.
Virtual reality can be used in several other applications. For example, business meetings will be revolutionized by virtual reality. Business meetings can be conducted in a virtual space; therein is a place for much innovation. Some of the other applications that are already being considered are: providing job training using virtual reality, create a platform to watch movies, and to use virtual reality to report news.
How it can be modified
As of yet, the oculus rift must be connected to the computer and the content must be viewed through the computer. This technology can be implemented in a public setting, such as a movie theatre, a sports game, or even a university lecture. All the members of the audience can have a pair of goggles, which simultaneously brings all those people into a virtual world. This could create a new dimension of interaction between the event itself and the people spectating it. For example, the people watching a basketball game can perhaps view the game in different angles. Professors can create interactive lectures to better involve the students in the lecture presentations. Those who watch movies can be immersed in the movies more than ever before.
Opportunities for Marketing
Regardless of how virtual reality is used, the most discussed topic to implement in virtual reality is advertisements. Experts are talking about how virtual reality can be used for marketing. Placing products in the virtual reality can be an effective way to convince users to purchase products. Advertising can also serve as an incentive for users to create content for virtual reality. This would operate the same way as YouTube does online. Users create content and get paid for according to their popularity.
Virtual reality is one of the biggest innovations in modern times. When such technology becomes common, this will definitely change the world. It opens doors for several opportunities as well as several security concerns. Nevertheless, there are many who are anticipating the release of this device. Many are technology enthusiasts, and many are opportunists. This device can have a greater impact on the lives of millions than smartphones did for the past several years.
Smith, S. L. (2016, March 14). What Is Oculus Rift? – FAQ – How Oculus Rift Works – Tom’s Guide. Retrieved from http://www.tomsguide.com/us/what-is-oculus-rift,news-18026.html
(2016, March 16). Introducing the Games Coming to Oculus! Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN6YCFlS8nU