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Is Virtual Reality Impacting Our Society?

Published on: April 6, 2019 | Updated on: April 6, 2019

Is Virtual Reality Impacting Our Society?

Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive and interactive experience, which is based upon real-time, computer-generated 3-D graphic images. This new age technology has the potential of altering human society significantly through alteration of perceptions and interactions.

Reality of VR Depends upon the Extent of Fulfillment of 5 Senses: How Far Is It Being Fulfilled Currently?

Effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) depends upon the extent of fulfillment of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

  • Sight and Hearing: These are currently covered by VR. The better the headphone you are using, better the experience.
  • Touch: The VR manufacturers are working on it and have come up with accessories that come with impressive haptic feedback capabilities. Till now the experience is still not up to the mark. However, companies are working on it.
  • Smell: A VR add-on device has been developed by a company known as VAQSO. It synchronizes scenes or actions. If there is a virtual gun firing scene, you can smell gun smoke.
  • Taste: The virtual reality industry is still working on the taste factor. However, there are many ideas in the works.

If all these senses are taken care of well by VR then the day is not far away when you can’t imagine a world without it.

Virtual Reality over Real World: A Futuristic View on its Effect on Society

You can have an idea of the effect of virtual reality on a society by going through the novel “Ready Player One”, written by Ernest Cline.

The science fiction novel shows that overpopulation has broken society in the year 2045. While energy is scarce, unemployment has reached an extreme break-even point. To get away from the miseries, people have started to turn to an incredibly realistic VR environment called OASIS. This virtual reality is not a video game anymore, it employs people, offers virtual classrooms to children, and many more. This futuristic novel poses a basic question:

Why should people spend time in real world when they can enter a complete virtual world to become anyone and go to any place you want? Will VR bring alienation among people? Let’s check out:

Effects of Virtual Reality on Society

Virtual Reality technology can have both positive and negative effects on a society.

Positive Effects

  • VR can provide friends and families (living far apart) with virtual environments that can make them interact as if they are chatting in their living space. Suppose you live in New Delhi and your family members live in Mumbai. For months you can’t meet them physically. However, the immersive experience of virtual reality can help you chat with them by ‘sitting down’ with them. VR will help you provide a near-reality experience where you can be with your loved ones virtually even when in reality you are miles apart from each other. Linear communication medium gets multiplied by hundred-folds with VR.
  • Conduct business meetings on VR with clients who are located miles apart from one another. Business leaders can also conduct team meetings no matter where their team members are geographically located.
  • VR can help you get a closer view of the ecommerce products so that you can make a more informed purchasing decision.
  • If you like travelling, you can first make a virtual tour of a place (say, Shimla) before even booking your plane ticket.

Virtual reality will help bring the fantasies to reality virtually.

Negative Effects

One of the most negative societal impacts of virtual reality will be the increasing propensity of escapism among people. If social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can make people unsocial, just think how an immersive virtual reality can affect the society.

  • Health issues such as seizures and vision degradation will become mainstream with overdose of VR.
    Socializing skills will become non-existent if people get too engrossed by the virtual reality.
  • VR can help you get a closer view of the ecommerce products so that you can make a more informed purchasing decision
  • If you like travelling, you can first make a virtual tour of a place (say, Shimla) before even booking your plane ticket.

Conclusion

Virtual reality can alter human society profoundly. It may not change you physically but can affect your societal perceptions and interactions.

Summary
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Is Virtual Reality Impacting Our Society?
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Virtual Reality (VR) is an interactive experience which is based upon real-time, computer-generated 3-D graphic images. Read here in detail on how it is impacting our society.


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