Virtual Reality – We have come a long way

In the realm of technological advancements, Virtual Reality has emerged as one of the most exciting developments. Especially, for game enthusiasts, there has been a huge change in the gaming world. From early VR systems that required bulky headsets to today’s sleek and portable headsets and controllers, we have definitely come a long way.The advancements of graphics and resolution paved the way for the most significant technological advances in VR. These advancements gradually allowed mankind to experiment with a more immersive and realistic world designed that could teleport them right from a room in their home to their purported dream destination. The use of 3D graphics and haptic feedback, (which allowed users to interact with virtual objects and characters in real time by touching time) significantly improved user experience in general and quality of gaming in particular. Once, while working on a project I learnt about the theory of Uncanny Valley which, put simply is a relation between how comfortable we are looking at an object and how close a character/ object resembles a human to the point where its indistinguishable and gets terrifying.  As a result, many animators and graphic designers began designing characters that resemble people in some aspects but can be easily distinguished since it is animated.

Moreover, given the advancements in graphics and resolution sector, significant changes in the virtual world such as the ability to track a user’s movements and translate them in a virtual world is what really struck with the consumers, especially younger generation like us! However, earlier this immersion would come along with a package such as cost of bulky setups and other heavier equipment which would need a designated space to store, up until the arrival of Oculus Quest, which was wireless and compact. This lightweight and wireless design started a revolution, even though the gaming industry is the most known when it comes to VR its not limited to just that.

To further elaborate it’s use in education sector also helps stimulate an environment where mentors and students can learn from the setting of the world and apply knowledge and skills learnt in their classrooms, Google expeditions is one of the key examples where VR has proven to be of great help to the students and mentors. While platforms like Floreo help individuals with ASD or other developmental impairments, it tailors their lectures and sessions in a way that they can easily comprehend and follow along. This was just a glimpse into the world of VR, it is so much more than that and it has the potential to offer us with a world that we could have not imagined for ourselves. Who would have thought back in 18’s that something of this sort would be made possible, but it did happen.

“We’re extremely close to a VR lifestyle!” as stated by Elon Musk, I find it to be very true, and frankly technology and all sorts of gadgets have become a new normal, it’s something very deeply rooted in today’s generation and probably will be the new normal of the upcoming generations, Once it was a foreign concept but now we are very close to saying Virtual Reality is sort of a thing that we live in, I don’t think it is far away from when we’ll start experiencing VR as a cloud service just like we currently consume  music and movies. Adding on, with the growing potential of the VR world it looks like we’ll soon be introduced with more personalized worlds to explore that will give us the chance to share our experiences with these virtual characters and learn from their world and implement ideas and  technology for the advancement of mankind.

Author – Mishthi Gupta
Pathways World School, Aravali.

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