Why Virtual Reality Is The Next Wave

A brief explanation as to why VR technology is the way of the future
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Virtual reality has taken the world by storm in the past couple of years. The ability to interact in a virtual world from an all-immersive perspective is alluring to gadget gurus all across the globe. Although it isn't a widely covered topic at the moment, it is becoming popular with today's adolescents, and I'm convinced that within the next few years all of our children will be begging us for the latest VR headset installment.

So what is the big deal about it anyway? Sure, we've already had a taste of immersive experiences with theme park attractions and 3D movies. However, today's virtual reality takes this to the next level. It's no longer limited to being a stationary activity that relies on external effects to create the experience. It creates a whole new world around you, one that you can move through and interact with.

Some claim the technology hit its peak in the early days, with enthusiasm for the product slowing down in the last year or so. Indeed, virtual reality doesn't receive too much mainstream media attention, but regardless of this fact, VR is on its way to being a staple of the future for a handful of different reasons.

1. It is a relatively new technology.

hand over keyboard technology
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Today's society is always looking for the next big thing. Considering the current generation has grown up with ever-changing technology, it takes a certain wow factor to maintain their attention. I remember watching YouTubers test out the new VR headsets when they first came out and thinking that it was ground-breaking. At the time, it blew my mind. I remember wishing I had enough money to try it out myself.

Fast forward almost 10 years and I found myself with a little extra money and a yearning for a new gadget. I considered all the regular upgrades: a new laptop, a new phone, a Switch, etc. The problem with all of those choices was that I was in desperate need of something fresh. I wanted to experience something I hadn't seen before. 

I'm ashamed to say I got the idea to buy a VR headset from TikTok. I was scrolling through my For You page when I saw someone playing a very visually appealing game (which I later learned to be Beat Saber), and after reading the comments I discovered it was a virtual reality game. When I saw this, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. This was exactly what I had been talking about.

Although VR has been around for quite some time, it is still a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of technological advancements. It's still considered an extraordinary experience, one that people pay money for in arcades and movie theaters. It is still a luxury that kids and grown-ups alike get excited about.

2. It is fun and exciting for large groups as well as solo users.

friends playing with virtual reality headsets
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One of the first things my boyfriend said to me after playing virtual reality games for the first time was, "This would be cool to have at parties." He's right — most VR headsets allow you to cast to an external viewing device, so the people around can see what the headset wearer is experiencing. Not to mention, there are plenty of multiplayer VR games that incorporate other players whether they have their own headset or not.

It's also fun to share the experience with family members, especially older ones. I'm speaking from experience when I say there is nothing like showing someone VR for the first time and witnessing the astonishment they experience. My mom was absolutely delighted to use YouTube 360 VR to get up close and personal with her favorite animal, the tiger. Similarly, my boyfriend's son wastes no time playing with virtual reality lions whenever he gets his hands on the headset. 

It is just as entertaining to play alone as it is to play with friends. You can settle down with a puzzle or adventure game, or get fit with a movement-based game. Or maybe you'd prefer watching Netflix in the comfort of your virtual home theater. Whatever you decide to do, you'll have a lot of options, and you might find yourself spending longer than intended in your home away from home. 

3. It is still being developed and is the stepping stone to even more advanced technology.

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The limitations of virtual reality are still being pushed. Advancements are being made every day, and the experiences produced by these virtual reality headsets will only get better over time. Unlike console and mobile gaming, which has been around long enough to establish a sense of familiarity with fans and arguably nearing its peak, VR gaming is still a land of opportunity, and VR games with unique, exciting concepts are constantly being developed. 

I recently read an interesting article about the "full dive" concept from the popular anime Sword Art Online, and how close we are to achieving something like it. We would not have come this far without starting with VR, and we likely won't achieve it unless we start with what we have here. Virtual reality developers have figured out how to manipulate the light around our eyes to project a different image, but to tap into consciousness itself would take a lot of work.

This room for expansion is primarily why I believe VR will do well going forward. There is still plenty of room to grow.

4. It is useful in many different fields, not just recreation.

virtual reality in the office
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When people talk about virtual reality, the most common association is the VR gaming headsets. While these headsets are the ones that are most accessible (not to mention, most affordable) to the public, they are not the only ones to exist. Aside from gaming and media, virtual reality is also used to make advancements in other areas of expertise.

For example, construction companies make use of technology to bring their building plans to life. Fashion designers can use it to see how a piece will look on a real human with the proper dimensions as opposed to a mannequin or drawing. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as virtual reality is being used in a variety of different fields in many different ways. 

The most important thing to remember about virtual reality is that it has many uses, most of which are beneficial to society as a whole. It allows us to look at the world through a different lens. 

Virtual reality is currently a grossly underappreciated luxury that we have at our fingertips, but the general public is starting to catch on to its greatness. As its popularity rises, so does its development, usefulness, and desirability. As updates to console gaming become less and less awe-inspiring with every release, players are flocking to find alternative ways to play. VR headsets and virtual reality gameplay are the next steps up.

The headsets have been designed with many different players and potential audiences in mind, and the applications are sources of endless fun for groups of any size. Friends and family will marvel at how realistic everything feels while enjoying unique experiences. Or, you can embark on a journey all on your own. 

The fun isn't expected to stop there, as the technology that brings us virtual reality is constantly being worked on and improved. Each new headset that hits the market boasts better graphics, audio, and/or tracking capabilities than its predecessors and competitors. This is beneficial not only to gamers, but also to people who utilize VR in fields such as architecture, fashion, and more.

Writer, blogger, and content creator from Sunny San Diego. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring, eating, and watching Netflix.

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