What is the impact of virtual reality on society?

In recent decades, technological advances have been remarkable and new technologies are very present in our lives. Today, we are beginning to lift the veil a bit on the great innovation that is coming: Virtual Reality (VR). Little by little we are already interacting with this new way of seeing the world in areas such as entertainment or social networks.

The quality and functionality of virtual reality devices are improving exponentially from year to year, opening up a new range of possibilities that are guaranteed to influence our lives in the not too distant future.

Social impact of virtual reality

1. Games

In the world of entertainment, significant changes are expected with the arrival of virtual reality technologies, particularly in the world of gaming. When this topic comes up, most people immediately think of video games.

This industry, which moves millions of euros, is constantly looking for new ways to capture the attention of its audience and, for this, there is nothing better than offering players an experience in which they are immersed in the game environment.

As headsets become less obtrusive and more intuitive, this type of experience will become more and more common. However, this new world is not limited to “traditional” virtual reality games.

This technology can also benefit the online gaming industry by bringing new life to online casinos, as the experience of playing online blackjack today is somewhat mechanical and emotionless. Now imagine that you take your place in a virtual casino and that you play against other virtual players, always with real money involved… Much better, right? This is an example of the potential that virtual reality has to bring the outside world into our homes.

2. Shopping

The real estate sector was one of the first branches of business to take advantage of the potential of virtual reality. Through a virtual reality viewer, potential buyers can visit the properties without losing hours of their day by scheduling a visit with the real estate agent.

Someone is not expected to buy a house without physically visiting it. However, it is possible to make the experience of searching for a homeless person tiresome by turning to VR, eliminating, in the first place, some properties that the buyer does not like, simply by visiting them virtually.

The combination of virtual reality technologies with tourism is another combination with a lot of potential. It allows, for example, to “visit” exotic places or try hotels on the other side of the world, avoiding possible unpleasant surprises even before starting your real vacation.

3. Education

Many of us have already taken online classes and courses, so it’s only a matter of time before such levels become commonplace. Virtual reality is a technology that will enhance this practice, allowing students from remote locations to attend classes and conferences that take place thousands of miles away.

The improvements that virtual reality brings are not limited to practical aspects. Think of a student who has the opportunity to go back in time and learn about the Portuguese maritime discoveries in the 15th century in a much more interactive way. Imagine the added motivation to learn that this type of experience can bring.

4. Social networks

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, among other social networks. Have you ever imagined that, from one moment to the next, instead of simply adding a ‘flavor’ to a friend’s post, you could virtually visit the magnificent beach where it was? Have you ever thought that with virtual reality you can talk “in person” with a distant person instead of exchanging messages?

5. Sport and fitness

So far, we have described a world where all socializing is done from the couch, which might lead one to believe that VR doesn’t cover the areas of sport and fitness. This is something that could not be more wrong!

Many of us have already spent long hours in the gym, exercising on treadmills or cycling, in an environment of deep monotony. How exciting would it be to race with friends or take a stage of the Tour de France using virtual reality technologies?

And when it’s not possible to watch a sporting event live, how about putting on your virtual reality headset and enjoying a tennis match from the front row at Roland Garros? Did you ever think that, with VR, you could have seen the Euro 2016 final and feel the atmosphere of that unforgettable night, as if you were sitting on the central bench of the Stade de France?

All this is just the beginning of a new reality that will impact our lives shortly. Our imagination imposes the only limits. The virtual future is coming, probably faster than you think.

How does virtual reality affect us?

Although virtual reality may seem like a very new technology to us, back in the early 90s, while Spanish children (now in their thirties) knew Mario the plumber or Sonic the hedgehog, Sega already had its virtual reality console ready, which for several problems, left in the drawer.

We have also been reviewing in recent days in many media how the South Korean multinational Samsung has used its Samsung Gear VR glasses to promote its latest Smartphone, the Galaxy S7 Edge, carrying out promotions in which it sold its two products in the form of a package. This strategy is succeeding.

All this only shows the strong commitment of the technological giants so that virtual reality reaches everyone, and the problem is not going to be economic, Google markets its Cardboard VR glasses, which allow us to discover this virtual reality. For less than two euros.

But virtual reality, in addition to a new generation of games, applications and new features for our consoles or our mobile phones, can also produce secondary effects. The main problem that has caused many people to remove the virtual glasses minutes after their first use, is the dizziness that they can cause in some people.

Our brain expects our senses (sight, hearing, touch…) to work in perfect harmony. Even so, when we put on a virtual reality helmet or glasses, inconsistencies occur due to lack of synchronization, saving distances, it would be similar to what happens to us when we travel by car, our sense of hearing detects movement, but we remain static during our brain, the brain doesn’t like to be fooled, and so it responds with nausea and dizziness.

On the other hand, people who have vision problems do not feel comfortable with these virtual reality glasses; It seems obvious, they suffer a sensation similar to that of wearing 3D glasses, it produces tired eyesight, after all, we see three-dimensional images that can aggravate the vision problems we have, in addition to the fact that it is already uncomfortable per se to put glasses on on top of others.

We must also take into account in terms of vision, the low resolution (640 × 800 pixels in each eye) and the refresh rate (60hz) that is being used, for example, in the current OculusRift that can cause an effect to move . of blur similar to what we can have when we have drunk more than we should. On the other hand,

This technology, which is on the rise right now, will allow us to live in a new reality, a reality in which we can be someone else, and this can bring serious problems. If we have already verified in the video games that exist in the market how some gamers conceive the world of their virtual self as their legitimate place of residence and their real person as a “second life”, imagine how they will design this “second life” now that reality virtual immersed them both in the life of their hommovirtualis (until now known as avatar).

Let’s also keep in mind that video games like World of Warcraft have their virtual currencies, which can be converted into real money like bitcoins do; this fact makes it very acceptable for hackers, so much so that more than three million malware attacks are launched every day to obtain user accounts of online games.

It is that for a “challenger” account of the League of Legends video game you can pay up to a thousand euros. But in addition to these “virtual” crimes against property, to the extent that virtual reality facilitates such a great hyperrealism and we feel so identified with our hommovirtualis, the door is opened for more virtual and not so virtual crimes to be perpetuated. , because the The victimological consequences will be suffered from a real prism.

Theft of game accounts, usurpation of virtual identities, threats and virtual coercion, virtual kidnapping, cases of cyberbullying and virtual grooming, etc… are already the order of the day.

In 2007 the Belgian Federal Police investigated a case in which, through malware, a man took control of a woman’s avatar in the well-known game SecondLife, used this control to violently and graphically sexually (and virtually) assault the woman, For the police, it was a case of unauthorized access to a computer system, but perhaps from a victimological point of view, as we have said before, for the victim it was practically a real violation.

Finally, we must not stop thinking that virtual reality can also be an opportunity for terrorist organizations to the extent that this technology can be used as a way to raise funds or recruit personnel. The statement may seem chaotic to some, but it should not be forgotten that Hezbollah has already produced its own first-person video game in which the user wins if he becomes a suicide martyr who carries out a successful attack.

Contrary to all this, virtual reality, in addition to a new way of playing and new functionalities for our devices and even new forms of advertising, can also bring numerous benefits to everyone.

According to a study carried out by University College London and the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Resources, patients with depression have managed to significantly reduce their symptoms through virtual reality therapies.

It can also bring benefits to people with vision problems, thanks to Google’s cardboard glasses that allow stereoscopic images to be projected, Bonny, a woman who suffers from an eye pathology that damages the photoreceptors of the retina, can put a face to her family by first time. weather. time in eight years. As always when there is a technological advance of this magnitude,

Impact of virtual reality on the economy

How virtual reality and augmented reality are transforming business and the economy’, whose original title is’ Seeing is believing. How virtual reality and augmented reality are changing industry and the economy’, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will have an impact of up to one and a half trillion dollars in the world economy in 2030.

According to the study, these technologies will have a positive impact, especially in healthcare, product development and retail. In addition, they will mean a significant increase in the income of the companies that make use of them.

By country, the United States will stand to benefit the most from the application of AR and VR. It is estimated that the economic impact in 2030 will reach 537,000 million dollars, which would mean an increase in its GDP of 2.83%. They are followed by China and Japan, with 183.3 billion and 143.2 billion, respectively. In Europe, Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom and France stand out, in that order.

In terms of the number of jobs that will also experience a positive impact, China leads the list, with more than 6.8 million jobs affected, followed by the United States with 2.3 million and Japan with 533,155.