On May 6th, Oculus VR announced that their first consumer version, the so-called CV-1, will be available in the first quarter of 2016. It’s one of three major VR platforms coming out soon. The other two being Sony’s Project Morpheus and Valve’s SteamVR.
Technology maybe have finally caught up with our ambitions. These devices, unlike their gimmicky predecessors, could be the real deal to change the world of interactive entertainment. While far from the Star Trek holodeck that so many would love, we could be standing on the cusp of an unprecedented breakthrough in terms of realistic 3D environments that we can be part of. Paired with some manner of haptic feedback suit the illusion could be just that much more all-consuming.
But gaming will only be one of the exciting places that virtual reality will change the world. In this article from Forbes they explore a few of the ways that devices like the Oculus could change the world of medicine. They make mention of training, remote encounters, uses in therapy for the autistic and mentally ill, palliative care, and even surgery. Something they don’t mention, but I think is an inevitability when paired with next-generation 3D body scanning, will be virtual reality INTERNAL exams. Imagine a neurologist being able to walk around the structure of a brain tumor. It would be a game changer.
Not just medicine. Would you like to walk around on the Moon from the comfort of Huston? Send a rover and do it remotely! Integration into other aspects of daily life is limited only by the scope of our imaginations.
Trying to predict the future of technology is almost always a losing bet, as the best advancements are often unpredictable. It does seem clear though, that no matter what the future brings, simulated reality will have a place in it.
Keith is a freelance writer at Black Powder Design and a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in animation. Keith hosts a podcast on the Deliberate Noise Network titled The Keith Show Show starring Keith. He is also the illustrator and writer of his own comic series called Stale Popcorn.