VR technologies empower individuals and create a much-needed form of escapism from the constraints of our day to day life. It comes as no surprise that amid the pandemic, VR has witnessed a resurgence in user numbers and engagement.
Coupled with augmented reality, VR allows us to feel closer to one another, move more freely beyond the bounds of social distancing. One must also not forget its value in healthcare, education, and media.
Rollin Herold, Chief Content Officer at Visible Things, a cutting-edge VR and 360-degree video developer explains, “We consider both the AR and VR media as still developing and mostly untapped by the general public. But we’ve also experienced quite a bit of frustration. For instance, travel seems to be the most natural sector to adopt immersive content, due to the feelings of [fear of missing out] that most travel vendors would like to elicit from potential buyers. And yet, even there we’ve run into a reluctance ‘to try something new’.”
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of VR technologies amid the pandemic, and how VR and AR will play out in 2021 and beyond.
In classrooms, augmented reality and VR technologies have allowed students to interact more with their assignments and course material.
Resources like Terminal Eleven’s SkyView allows students to view an interactive map of constellations on their phones that they can examine and move alongside the images on the screen. While Herstory enables students to scan textbooks and learn more about overlooked women throughout history.
VR and AR are of great benefit to medical school students as they allow training whilst supporting surgeons with medical procedures that are as detailed as neurosurgery and as simple as needle placement. The diverse use of this technology only cements its value for med school students and nurses and opens the windows for innovation.
In a post-Covid-19 society, VR technologies will be integrated more into our daily lives. Companies, organizations, and individuals that are currently at the forefront of building these virtual offerings have a serious responsibility to ensure that we do not abandon the beauty of real life for an augmented one.