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Virtual Reality – Where will we stand in 10 Years?

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Today, Virtual Reality has become the next big thing in the world of technology. Virtual reality refers to that artificially created environmen, which a human user views and interacts with, by means of a virtual reality device or headset. Proponents and experts say that virtual reality is here to stay and that its future is bright. Already, a great number of investors and businesses have significantly invested in this area. Giants such as Facebook, Google, Sony and others, all have come up with their own technologies, to outdo one another in this race of virtual reality.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a similar concept in which the AR device acts on the natural environment and transforms it into an augmented reality for the viewer. In the case of augmented reality, the environment and interactions are triggered when viewed from a headset. In an augmented-reality based environment, the actions & interactions are embedded within an object; so, when you stare or gaze at a particular object, an action is triggered, whereby you can have an artificially created three dimensional experience.
Like any other great technological advancement, virtual reality and augmented reality have various prospects and are manifesting themselves in our daily lives. For one, the education sector has been positively influenced by the use of augmented reality. Many schools are now using applications like Elements 4D and Aurasma, enabling the teachers and learners to interact with drawings (or posters) and objects to create a rich and multimodal learning experience. Applications like such provide the teachers and students with numerous possibilities to enrich the learning process, taking education to another level.
Likewise, the implications and applications of AR and VR are significant in a medical setting. An example is the experiment that was conducted by the researchers from University College London in collaboration with University of Barcelona, whereby participants were equipped with VR headsets and body sensors to enter a virtual clinical setting. Upon entering the virtual environment, the participants had before them a virtual patient (a minor). The participants were asked to engage in an emotional and comforting discourse with their virtual patient, and they observed how that patient warmly responded to their words and gestures. Then afterwards, the roles switched; now the participant found themselves in place of the patient, but the role of the psychologist was still played by that virtually created image or avatar of themselves. All this could be indicating towards a radical shift at how psychologists and psychiatrists pursue training and learning.
To sum it all up, be it the world of gaming, interaction on social media, treatment within a clinical setting or an educational setting, VR has given new prospects for each of these domains. It is amazing how we can transform and enhance our most significant and even the littlest experiences using this modern technology. Considering the advancements in the area of virtual reality, we can rest assured that its scope is going to be dynamic and diversified within the next ten years. At Digital Dividend, we are extremely excited ourselves as well to see how the future unfolds. Brace yourselves folks!

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