Brace yourselves. Soon, the lines between reality and fiction may be blurred. It’s not even that far away. The technology to make this happen is already here, and it is not too difficult to find. One such device is even so cheap, you don’t need much to create one, just some cardboard and Velcro. This technology is known as virtual reality.
Now the main purpose of this article is just gushing over how awesome virtual reality is and how excited I am that virtual reality is happening, and it’s not very difficult to get. I mentioned the cardboard thing, that’s the Google Cardboard, which is basically a pair of goggles that you put your phone in that can make it into a rather basic VR headset, and this is absolutely incredible! I’ve heard that a lot of people are skeptical of the idea of paying 700-something dollars on a huge VR headset that doesn’t have a whole lot of already compatible games compared to just about every other console out there. Though according to this graph, almost 207.2 million people in the US alone have smartphones, and nearly 80% of those play games on their phone. They’ve pretty much got the device already, they just need to put down $15 extra for what is essentially a cardboard box and download some apps. It’s rather simple when you think about it.
Another incredible bit of technology that has convinced me that after I fell asleep last night my parents shoved me into one of those hyper-sleep chamber things from Futurama and I woke up this morning in a future where the laws of probability caught up with everyone and created exact copies of the people alive in 2016 and the year counter just rolled over back to 0000 after 9999 because they never bothered to fix the far-future version of Y2K (I’ve put way too much thought into this, haven’t I?) is 360 videos. A 360 video is essentially a video that you are able to rotate in any direction! This is technology that previously could not be imagined outside of a Star Trek episode. Now it’s a standard feature on YouTube! If you have a Google Cardboard you can even make it move with your head, which is an amazing use of virtual reality. Now we can be fully immersed in the timeless tale of the pop-tart cat who flies through space on a rainbow set to annoying music. Or less stupidly, being able to see a live performance of The Lion King at every angle! This could revolutionize how movies are made, how did I somehow miss this when it became a thing?!
Another huge thing in the gaming scene is the Occulus Rift, a VR headset for computer games that is pretty much what people think of when they think virtual reality. I actually got to try this a couple weeks back, and before I did I really didn’t think much of the Occulus Rift and I just thought it was a cool way to ride a roller-coaster in the comfort of you own home. Then I tried it and realized this could really just transport you to another world. It really felt mind-blowing. This is the future!
So yeah, virtual reality is a thing that is happening, and it is happening relatively soon, and I am super excited. I have heard some criticism that virtual reality will make kids even less social and make them not understand the difference between virtual reality and real reality, but people have been saying stuff like that for every new technology since the beginning of time. I’m sure people were complaining when the wheel became mainstream, and when people have computers injected into their eyeballs in the future there will be complaining then. When I look at this technology I just see a future with way more possibilities in the ways of entertainment and many other things.