You walk into your office. Sketches of your architectural dream lay strewn about on the desk and the floor. Bits of eraser and lead dot the interior landscape. Frustrated with the two-dimensional nature of your sketches, you decide to push past those limitations. You integrate yourself into a digital world.
You open your 3D imaging software. Slowly, you sculpt your designs to your specifications. But, alas, it is still lacking the visceral interactivity requisite for such important work. So, you don your VR headset and are transported to the very dream-like design you wrought from thin air. With all of your senses engaged, you can truly feel your work as it actualizes before your very eyes.
What VR means for media
"At its very core, virtual reality
is about being freed from the limitations of actual reality," explains John Carmack, co-founder of id Software. "Carrying your virtual reality with you, and being able to jump into it whenever and wherever you want, qualitatively changes the experience for the better. Experiencing mobile VR is like when you first tried a decent desktop VR experience."
Virtual reality has changed everything. While it may not seem like media has been forever changed at the present, the ripple effect of VR's immense potential is already beginning to be felt. Although it was initially relegated to the confines of the entertainment industry, it's practical purposes far exceed any predictions possible.
"VR dangles in front of our eyes a vision of the media's future, changes in the ways we communicate, and the way we think about communication. The medium that tantalizes us so has gone by a number of names: computer simulation, artificial reality, virtual environments, augmented reality, cyberspace and so on," write Frank Biocca, Taeyong Kim and Mark Levy in Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality.
Why VR means more than entertainment
VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift (pictured) have been used by gaming up until now, but industry is starting to use the game-changing tech too.
(Image: Lux Interaction, Unsplash)
The enigmatic names that shroud the new technology aren't the focus, however. "More terms are likely to be invented as the technology's future unfolds
," Biocca, Kim and Levy continue. "But the enigmatic term virtual reality has dominated the discourse. It has defined the technology's future by giving it a goal – the creation of virtual reality. Virtual reality is not a technology; it is a destination."
Now the uses of the technology can be seen in various realms across the entirety of business. Virtual reality has been used for product design, project management and even virtual meetings that can be conducted in a digital work environment. This technological culmination allows for a manifold product that has relevance in every industry that could ever be.
Virtual reality's myriad of uses has given us a new way to interact with the world at large. We can use the technology to sculpt beautiful skyscrapers, plan entire communities and create prototype products that could potentially change the world.
The tech industry in particular has been affected deeply by the technology as it allows for companies to build and test in a virtual environment that does come with the cost of physical product development.
The expansion of VR past media application has already begun to change how tech companies consider operational costs and the practicality of product development. This increases competition within the industry, while simultaneously expanding how the tech can be used.
VR can be used to train employees or give clients experiences of events or concerts.
(Image: JESHOOTS.COM, Unsplash)
In any situation you are in you should investigate how to incorporate VR into your work dynamics to potentially save money and increase possibility. Virtual reality is one of the keys to our technological future and you should not be left in the dark, experiencing only one three-dimensional world at a time.
"One of the most intriguing concepts of virtual reality is the ability to achieve a realistic simulation of worlds which are entirely the product of the imagination," explains Daniela Bertol in Designing Digital Space. "Theories contradictory to our common spatial experience (and common sense) are easily applied to a VR environment... new spatial sensibilities are discovered from the interactive processes used by a design in a virtual environment."
VR goes beyond what we thought was possible, and helps us design the real world and virtual worlds. This has implications far beyond just entertainment or even media.
— Anthony Coggine, freelance business analyst and tech journalist