What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual Reality refers to computer technologies capable of generating realistic sounds, images, and other sensations (usually involving the five senses) to create an imaginary setting or virtual environment. This is usually achieved with the use of a headset (mounted goggles) that have screens and speakers. With this gadget, the user is able to move around the artifical world and interact with objects or features within it.

Young female wearing VR goggles

Take a Look...

Playstation is a company that uses the VR technology for gaming purposes. Below is a promotional advertisement targeted to gamers; it highlights the virtual features and interactive abilities of the headgear.

VR Headset Diagram




The Impact of Virtual Technology

Artistic representation of the virtual reality

This new technology, like most, has both benefits and drawbacks.

Positive Impacts

In today's education system, Virtual Reality devices has made a huge advancement. One benefit is that it provides a new learning experience for students taking a particular course (i.e. user may apply their knowledge by acting upon virtual reality scenarios). Not only that, it also makes learning more fun and interesting with the simulations and three-dimensional environment. On the other hand, it can also help save money; in the virtual world, everything is simulated so training equipment and resources are not necessary. Furthermore, VR allows students to learn at their own pace and caters to their learning style, which is a problem for students undergoing the traditional ways of teaching. However, learning & development aren't the VR technology's only purposes; they can be used for entertainment and gaming as well. In this case, this new technology can provide an enticing, "almost real" experience for the gamer. It can make them feel as if they are in the game themselves. Another contribution VR systems have made is towards counselling. For instance, those who have severe anxiety and cannot present in front of large audiences are able to train themselves (or at least ease themselves) into fulfilling the task with a virtual setting and audience. This works with those who have gone through traumatic experiences (PTSD) or have phobias as well.

Various users trying out VR technology devices

Negative Impacts

Obviously, there are drawbacks to this wonderful piece of tech as well. The biggest one being the price. New technology always comes with a high price and to develop this innovation, it will be costly; it may not even be realistic to expect huge growth in this field of technology due to the large amounts of money required. The second drawback is the loss of integration from reality. If abused, users may lost touch with reality and become addicted to the virtual world. They may overuse it and forget how to interact with real objects.

vr Feature display

The Future of Virtual Reality

For the most part, there seems to be more pros than cons to this new technology. Thus, the future of it seems fairly bright. I think that it will continue to grow as long as it stays true to its purpose and continues to develop more and more. People nowadays are becoming very tech-savvy so over time, it is likely that we'll see more of these around - perhaps even in our schools. In terms of its impact on media & communications, we'll definitely be seeing it advertised more frequently and promoted. Perhaps they'll come up with various ways to advertise using this new technology or create softwares related to the field of communication technology for the VR goggles (i.e. students might be able to produce virtual reality videos using the VR device). All in all, virtual realities have already proven themselves as a very useful tool in various fields: architecture & planning, help & healing, entertainment & gaming, and education & training. It will be definitely be a leading innovation sooner or later.

Woman amazed by the features of the virtual reality


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