Virtual reality is not just a modern idea, it is a concept that has been around a lot longer than I would have thought dating back to the 1930’s. The first form of VR was the Pygmalions Spectacles which is goggles that had a holographic recording of virtual stories that included touch and smell. Later in the 1960’s Ivann Sutherland created the first head set that was mostly used for military applications. These early forms used training software and a motion platform to detect movement. In the 1990’s the first forms of VR gaming made its way onto the market, with the Nintendo Virtual Boy. These gaming headsets had sound, LCD screens and head tracking. However, the technology was very limited at the time until recently. The standard now is the Oculus RV which was purchased by Facebook in 2014 and showed the popularity that VR was starting to gain.
Virtual reality is mostly seen as only applicable for gaming and entertainment when the technology is actually used for so much more in modern society. Not only can we use it as a new source of entertainment, but it can also be very beneficial to use in training and can even be used in the work place. VR has showed a lot of potential the more the technology gets developed, the military has already adopted it as their training mechanism for pilots before they even step into a real aircraft. Other applications are exampled in an article for BBC that explains how doctors are using VR to practice complicated surgeries such as heart surgery before actually performing it on a real patient. It also says that google has giving VR sets to schools and classrooms with lessons where kids are able to learn about the moon while “walking on it.”(BBC). Therapist have been using VR to help soldiers coming back from war confront their traumatic experiences by seeing it in the VR headsets and reliving those moments they have noticed a decline in their PTSD systems. Although there are many examples of positive uses for this new technology that can benefit our society there are some issues that come with it. A big problem is that most the systems are extremely expensive making it hard for multiple headsets to be purchased and even low income families will never get to experience them. Another that an article in makeuseof.com says is that the health effects are still unknown, most of the side effects are just know to be temporary as of right now such as eye strain and loss of awareness. But the long-term effects have yet to be tested. However, VR is still becoming an important part of the future and does not seem like it will stop progressing anytime soon.
How will virtual reality change our lives? (2016, May 18). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36279855
Lee, J., Keeley, J., & Matthews, K. (2016, June 08). Virtual Reality Still Has 5 Big Problems to Overcome. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/virtual-reality-still-5-big-problems-overcome/
Brown, L. (2017, April 12). A Brief History of Virtual Reality. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://filmora.wondershare.com/virtual-reality/history-of-vr.html