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The Reality about Virtual Reality

Say “virtual reality” and what comes to mind are the pictures planted by Hollywood – future worlds where technology has dulled the difference between real and simulated à la The Matrix.

While the hype around the phenomenon has gathered momentum in recent years with promises that virtual reality would become a reality readily available to the masses, the idea itself is not new. As early as 1935, there was the dream, though distant, of movies that would not just bring sight and sound to the audience but touch, taste and even smell as well.

American science fiction author Stanley G Weinbaum described such an experience in his short story Pygmalion’s Spectacles where movies would unfold not before the audience but around them, and where they would not merely spectate but also participate.

Four years later, the View-Master appeared on the scene. A stereoscopic visual stimulator, each View-Master was loaded with a reel of 14 film transparencies in seven pairs usually featuring major attractions and scenery to make seven stereoscopic images. It became the forerunner of virtual reality headsets.

By the mid-1950s, that vision of the future arrived. The first virtual reality device called Sensorama was invented by Cinematographer Morton Heilig. It was a machine with inbuilt seats that could accommodate up to four people and played 3D movies in full colour, emitting smells and generating vibrations to simulate movement. Six short films were developed specifically for it. The design was patented in 1962.

Now that we are well into the new millennium, technology has advanced to such a place where putting people right in the middle of an imaginary world with sights, sounds and sensations that simulate the actual with utmost realism has become possible for the majority to a far more sophisticated and accessible degree. Indeed, virtual reality has already made great headway in several industries.

There is, then, no better time to find out about this technology and the key players that will shape it then now.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is the creation of a three-dimensional, simulated environment using computer technology that allows users to be immersed in the created world so that they can experience it, interact with it and manipulate it in a manner that feels real to the users. Instead of watching from the outside, the user is inside the experience.

Being sensorial creatures, our perception of reality is influenced largely by our five senses – taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing – and the perception system in our bodies. Information gathered from these sources are processed in the brain so we can interpret our world.

What virtual reality does is replace those inputs from the real world with made-up ones generated by computer software. Since the brain relies on sensory information to perceive the world, what it is fed will colour its construction of reality. Deprive it of real world information, give it computer-generated ones and its reality will be altered accordingly by the computerised data. It is perhaps escapism at its immersive best.

All this is achieved largely via a head-mounted display (HMD) with a tiny screen in front of the eyes. The display splits between the user’s eyes to create a stereoscopic 3D effect that is combined with input tracking. It is this display technology – distinct from traditional user interfaces – that brings realism into virtual reality and distinguishes it from other virtual forms of engagement. Electronic devices such as headsets and special gloves fitted with sensors may be used as well to enhance the realism.

Multi-projected environments on large screens in specially designed rooms can also be used to generate images along with sounds and sensations to simulate reality.

In such virtual reality experiences, users can explore the created world, move within it and interact with the made-up environment, items and characters like they would in the real world thanks to auditory and video feedback as well as haptic technology. Haptic technology is also known as kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch and is technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations and motions to the user.
 

Virtual reality vs augmented reality vs mixed reality

If virtual reality immerses users in a computer-created, built-up world, then augmented reality takes elements of a computer-created world – digitally created objects or characters – and incorporates it into the real thereby enhancing and supplementing it. Graphics are overlayed onto actual environments to create this effect.

If virtual reality shuts out the real world and replaces it with a virtual one, then augmented reality keeps users in the world, making the real world central to the experience, but adds to elements from the virtual world. Hence, augmentation.

Sensors and algorithms in computers are used to determine the position and orientation of a camera. Augmented reality technology then renders 3D graphics as they would be seen from the viewpoint of the camera, superimposing them onto the user’s view of the world. The technology is so sophisticated that the digital elements can adjust to the users’ movements and position in real time. Augmented reality is accessed via devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Perhaps the most popular example of augmented reality at work is in the game Pokémon GO. Filters on Instagram, Snapchat and Zoom are other examples of augmented reality.

Mixed reality brings together virtual and augmented reality, allowing users to interact and manipulate both physical and virtual objects and environments. With next-generation sensing and imaging technologies, users can interact simultaneous with the real and virtual world seamlessly, manipulating digital objects anchored in the real world. This interplay blurs the lines between actual and imaginary.

One application of mixed reality, beyond games, is its used in medicine. Surgeons can operate on patients via projected ultrasound images.
 

Extended reality

This is a newly coined term to encompass all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology or wearable technology. So, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality all come under this umbrella term, extended reality.
 

360º

360” refers to the panoramic view created in photographs and videos that gives viewers an all-round look at the scenery. It is neither immersive nor interactive. It is encompassing.

Types of Virtual Reality

There are three primary types of virtual reality – non-immersive, semi-immersive and fully-immersive.
 

Non-immersive virtual reality

This form of virtual reality is not often considered virtual reality because it has become so commonplace. Non-immersive virtual reality involves computer-generated environments that allow the user to remain in touch with and in control of their physical environment.

Relying on game consoles, displays, headphones and input devices such as keyboards, mice and controllers, non-immersive virtual reality allows a view into a created world and some measure of interaction and control. However, because the devices are not connected to the body, it does not afford an immersive experience. The user is still largely on the outside looking in.

Video games and flight simulators are forms of non-immersive virtual reality.

Semi-immersive virtual reality

Semi-immersive virtual reality offers partial immersion. Users will feel like they are in an alternate reality if they concentrate on the high quality digital, 3D images generated. But they are still connected to their physical surroundings and can, if they choose to, see what is around them and interact with the real world.

This form of virtual reality is often used in education and for training purposes. 4D movies which incorporate motion seats, wind, strobe lights, fog, rain and even scents are another example of semi-immersive virtual reality.

Fully-immersive virtual reality

Fully-immersive virtual reality is the type of virtual reality most think of when the term is mentioned. A completely immersive experience where the user is divorced from the physical world is what is offered.

Major players in Virtual Reality

Equipment backed by technology is what makes virtual reality work.

In 1968, the first HMD was developed by computer scientist Ivan Sutherland with his student Robert Sproull. Connected to a computer and suspended from the ceiling, the device called The Sword of Damocles, could only show simple virtual wire-frame shapes. But the 3D models could change perspective when the user moved his head thanks to a tracking system. Too heavy to use, it never went beyond a lab project but it is considered the precursor of the HMD.

Since then, many HMDs have appeared on the market along with other equipment from hand controllers that transform physical gestures into virtual movements in the game or application, and treadmills that simulate foot movement to bolster the virtual reality experience.

In the market now are several players innovating equipment for virtual reality encounters. They range from upmarket ones that cost thousands to pocket-friendly models that are priced at a few hundred dollars.

 

1. HTC Vive

Valve, the creators of the Steam digital game store and high-end consumer electronics company HTC, are behind this collaborative virtual reality system. As such, it is the first virtual reality HMD to support SteamVR.

Within their range of products are the standard Vive headset as well as an enhanced Vive Pro version. Focussed on entertainment and gaming, both headsets incorporate motion tracking at its, core using the highly accurate laser-based Lighthouse tracking system. This system offers one of the best room-scale virtual reality experiences. Room-scale is what lets users walk freely in a designated area and HTC Vive employs 360º tracking equipment to monitor movement in all directions and translate these movements into the virtual world in real time.

HTC Vive has been one of the best virtual reality HMDs on the market since it was released for consumer use in 2016. Since then, a wireless module has been added as well as newer models such as Vive Pro Eye and the HTC Vive Cosmo.

HTC Vive has been facing strong competition from the Oculus Rift because both have positioned themselves at the top end of the virtual reality market.

HTC Vive has, however, some unique features to set it apart. It has a front-facing camera which, used in certain apps, can bring the real world into the virtual one. There are also two hand-worn gesture controllers in each set as well as a base station that tracks movement. Though it takes a longer time to set up because it tracks movement within fairly tight limits, it might prove handier since more apps and games use this option.

These added features may be why HTC Vive is the most expensive system on the market at the moment.

 

2. Oculus Rift

Virtual reality company Oculus that specialises in headsets and virtual reality software for developers was the one that created the first prototype of a virtual reality headset in 2010. That model would evolve into the Oculus Rift. In 2014, the company was acquired by Facebook for US$2 billion. Oculus is also working on 3D video and photography.

Oculus Rift once needed highly powerful PCs to work. But now, because of improved technology which the company has dubbed “asynchronous spacewarp”, it can work with PCs that cost just a few hundred dollars.

Apart from the hugely popular Oculus Rift which is a direct competitor of HTC Vive, Oculus also has the Oculus Go headset which is targeted at a more mass market with its lower price. It also has the first all-in-one virtual reality gaming station Oculus Quest. In addition, it has the Oculus Touch controller.

 

3. PlayStation VR (PSVR)

Perhaps no other industry uses virtual reality more heavily and more visibly than the gaming industry. As the player at the forefront of this, PlayStation has positioned itself firmly in the virtual reality sector. By 2019, Sony had sold 4.2 million PlayStation virtual reality headsets.

This popularity is, in no small part, the result of the fact that their PlayStation VR system has more than 200 games that work with the PS4 system. There are some 96 million PlayStation 4s in the market. This gives the PlayStation virtual reality headset plenty of potential for growth.

PlayStation 5, which launched in November 2020, also has new virtual reality hardware with advanced capabilities that support it. With this, Sony is ensuring that it will continually be able to tap on its huge base of tens of millions of gamers to bolster its virtual reality headset sales.

This is why they have a huge advantage over big players like HTC Vive and Oculus even though they offer the lowest powered of the three best-selling virtual reality HMDs. It is also why PSVR is the best-selling virtual reality HMD on the market.

What is more, it is the first console-connected virtual reality headset. But because it is tied so much to gaming, it may have fewer non-game virtual reality apps.

 

4. Google (Daydream and Cardboard)

Google’s first attempt at a commercial virtual reality headset is the Cardboard. As its name suggests, it is made entirely of cardboard. It has a fold-out viewer into which a smartphone can be inserted.

Google developed it as a low-cost system to encourage development in virtual reality applications. So, it has made the specifications for the flat-pack headsets available to other companies. There are now 13 models from Google’s own basic US$15 model as well as others by different companies. It has also used the Carboard to promote initiatives such as Google Expeditions which is a way for students to go on virtual field trips and Google Jump, a camera made for filming in 3D.

By making the product simple and affordable, Google has made virtual reality possible for a larger number of people.

The other Google virtual reality product is Daydream, a lightweight virtual reality headset compatible with many mobile devices that works with a smartphone. Instead of cardboard, the Daydream View, is made of fabric and comes with its own motion controller.

Daydream has several applications because Google services such as YouTube, Street View and Photos all support the headset. As such, Daydream has allowed developers to create virtual reality experiences through YouTube videos and mobile apps. Many humanistic and educational projects have thus resulted including The Female Planet, an empathetic look at female leadership as well as Ocean to Plate, an immersive look at the fishing industry supply chain.

 

5. Apple (ARKit)

Apple is rumoured to be working on augmented reality and virtual reality glasses.

Meanwhile, in 2017, it released augmented reality platform ARKit as a feature included in iOS 11. The development tool lets developers produce apps that interact with the physical world using the device’s cameras and sensors, and makes creating augmented reality apps for iOS devices easier since the augmented reality is built within the operating system. It also makes apps that use ARKit more stable and powerful.

ARKit uses a technology called Visual Inertial Odometry to track the surroundings of the iPad or iPhone. The iOS is then able to sense how the device moves in a room. Apart from the room’s layout, ARKit can also detect horizontal planes like tables and floors. With this tech, virtual objects can be placed on those surfaces in the physical room. Developers have used ARKit to create apps that allow users to measure distance in real time and see how furniture will look in homes before people buy the items.

Apple is now in the third-generation version, iOS13. This version includes Motion Capture so developers can integrate people’s movements into their app and People Occulsion. This enables augmented reality content to appear naturally in front of or behind people for a more immersive experience.

Games like Pokémon GO use ARKit.

 

6. Microsoft (HoloLens)

This is an all-in-one headset for mixed reality that need not be connected to a computer, controller or other equipment. Running on Windows 10, the mixed reality features are built into its operating system. But at US$3,500, the HoloLens is not for those who merely want to dabble in virtual reality.

However, Microsoft has been slow to offer virtual reality headsets for the mass market. In 2019, Sony came out to state categorically that they would not be launching a virtual reality headset for their Xbox Series X.

 

7. Samsung (Gear VR)

Samsung’s Gear VR was launched in 2015. This virtual reality headset, developed with Oculus, uses a Samsung phone as the screen. Because it makes use of the user’s handphone – Samsung works with S6 and S7 as well as Galaxy Note7 phablet – as the screen, Samsung is able to offer their headsets at more affordable prices. The handphone is mounted onto the headset which then can be used with peripherals like headphones and controllers.

The device partners apps and games that can be downloaded from Oculus Home, Oculus’ app store, and the catalogue is growing. This makes the headset more accessible to a larger market and highly attractive to mainstream audience. This, together with its price, makes it very competitive even though its graphical capabilities, along with the processor of the device running its software, are less powerful than those of its rivals.

 

8. Huawei VR Glass

Huawei has virtual reality glasses with dual smart speakers and 3D sound stereo technology. Foldable and thin, Huawei VR Glasses incorporates the ease of wearable technology with virtual reality capabilities enhanced by IMAX and its suite of 30,000 hours of videos and over 100 virtual reality games.

Huawei’s virtual reality glasses uses Inside-out positioning. This is where the camera is placed on the device being tracked and looks out to determine any changes in its position in relation to the surroundings. As the headset moves, the sensor will recalibrate its position in the space. This then gives the impression that the user is moving through the virtual environment in real time.

The set comes with a 360° joystick and side gesture buttons that offers excellent vibration feedback. This lends the device an immersive and realistic feel. Lightweight, at a little over 150 grams, and ergonomically designed to fit the face, the glasses uses protein leather material making it soft and comfortable. It is also adjusted in the range of 0” to 700” myopia so those who are short-sighted can use it sans their own spectacles.

 

9. Magic Leap (Magic Leap One)

American start-up Magic Leap makes high quality mixed reality headsets. Its distinguishing feature is its focus on an immersive experience. It uses light fields to create augmented reality projections directly onto the user’s eyes. The results are highly realistic visuals that lend extreme believability to encounters.

The headset comes with a controller and a “lightpack” that can be put into the user’s pocket, making it a sort of wearable technology.

The problem with Magic Leap is that the product has yet to hit the market. The start-up has been looking for companies to buy them out and finance their virtual reality aspirations. Thus far, there have been no takers possibly because of the US$10 billion price tag. But if Magic Leap manages to take off, its virtual reality headset looks promising.

 

10. Intel VR True

This one is for sports lovers. The end-to-end technology solution turns live sports events into realistic and fully immersive virtual reality experiences. The headset incorporates stereoscopic camera pods, Intel-based computing power and multi-platform distribution capabilities. A day before or on the day of the game, it is set up inside the sports venue.

Apart from the headset, the virtual reality experience can be accessed via mobile devices, tablets and PCs. Users can stream on Twitter and see the highlights on Facebook 360 and YouTube 360°.

Because of its narrower focus, this headset may have less mass appeal.

 

11. SpaceVR

Virtual reality need not be confined to individuals in the home. If you want to be immersed in space and look down on earth like an astronaut, US start-up SapceVR can recreate that experience if you are willing to travel to New York where the flotation tank with waterproof virtual reality headset and footage of the earth from space is situated.

The flotation tank contains 550 kilograms of Epson salt dissolved in 1,000 litres of water. This causes the liquid density to alter enabling people to float more easily, replicating the sense of weightlessness experienced in space. To enhance the experience, users wear waterproof 4K VR headsets specially designed to protect the electronics inside from the corrosive saltwater. The view of the earth is obtained from two 4K resolution cameras mounted on either side of the satellite 480km above the earth.

 

12. HP Reverb G2

HP’s headset was developed with industry leaders Valve and Microsoft. Their virtual reality headset boasts the world’s highest resolution LCDs with cutting edge optics and inside-out tracking, spatial 3D audio, natural gestures, long-wearing comfort and plug-and-play support for Windows mixed reality and SteamVR.

Because the controller tracking input comes from four cameras, users can enjoy six degrees of freedom so they will feel like the device is an extension of their hands. This allows for a realistic, immersive experience.

 

13. Lenovo Mirage Solo

This is the world’s first standalone Daydream virtual reality headset meaning it does not require a separate PC or smartphone to work. Powered by Google’s WorldSense technology, it allows users a full range of movements because they are not tethered to another device and the wires or sensors that come with them.

The headset is powered by the advanced Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 VR platform and 4GB of RAM, giving it ultra high resolution visuals. Along with an increased angle of line of sight of 110° field of view, users will be able to see more and see more realistically.

Mirage Solo also has access to over 250 Daydream apps, unlocking a vast array of experiences from games to travels and live events.

Uses of Virtual Reality

While virtual reality seems to be geared towards serving the entertainment industry, this technology has many more uses than just for fun. The 2020 XR Industry Insight report collated by VR Intelligence noted that 65% of artificial intelligence companies surveyed indicated that they were working on industrial applications while only 37% were working on consumer products and software.

With the world practising social distancing, virtual reality has a lot more application opportunities because the technology can allow real world, real-time experiences without actually coming into contact with the physical world.

Virtual reality is poised to penetrate many more industries. We take a look at its possibilities beyond gaming.
 

1. Tourism

Trips to major attractions around the world and even out of the world are possible with virtual reality. Simply strap on a headset and you are good to go.

Since the first use of virtual reality in museums started in 1990, there have been more uses of the technology in this area, adding to the itinerary of the armchair traveller. GoPro already has footage from their wearable cameras that allows users to climb Mount Everest, explore the Grand Canyon or visit Venice. Meanwhile, Mars 2030 promises an out-of-this-world experience on the red planet.

Not only will virtual reality allow people to travel despite travel restrictions, it allows people to preview places they want to visit to allow them to make more educated decision when the pandemic is under control and they are allowed to actually visit places again.

It is little wonder, then, that demand in this area is set to rise. In data published by GlobalWebIndex, 40% of Gen Zers want to see more travel applications through virtual reality technology.
 

2. Entertainment

Since 2015, roller coasters and theme parks have incorporated virtual reality. Haptic feedback are paired with visual effects to give users a total-body experience.

Virtual reality can also allow music fans to attend concerts without beyond bound by space or time.
 

3. Journalism and film

Why merely watch a video when you can be immersed in it? Film-makers and documentary directors are using 360° cameras to add another layer of realism to their works.

News companies are getting into the fray as well. The New York Times VR films and Guardian’s 6×9 project which looks are solitary confinement are but early examples of this. As the cost of making such videos go down, more of such virtual reality productions are to be expected.
 

4. Social media

When Facebook bought Oculus, Mark Zuckerberg said that virtual reality could be the next big social platform. Virtual reality remains solo encounters for many gamers but there is room for it to be a community experience.

The race is on to create software that can allow people to watch movies in a virtual cinema with others. There is also talk of bringing virtual reality into video calls and video conferencing with the creation of avatars that can interact with one another in virtual settings.
 

5. Sports

Apart from training programmes for pros and amateurs like STRIVR, sports fans can attend sporting events virtually. From open tennis tournaments to boxing matches, the possibilities are endless.
 

6. Medicine & healthcare

Virtual reality has been used by surgeons to simulate surgeries and to assist in operations. This has allowed doctors to improve their skills without incurring high costs or risking patients’ lives.

Virtual reality has been adopted in therapy as well to treat patients with phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders in what is known as virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET).

Within the safe confines of a virtual environment, these patients can encounter their fears in immersive virtual experiences while guided by their physicians. Hooked up to biosensors that monitor physiological reactions like heartrate and perspiration, physicians can also better understand how these patients react when stressed while in a highly controlled environment.

Virtual reality has also been used by people with autism to help them practice social and communication skills. Patients with Alzheimer’s use virtual reality as part of their rehabilitation programme. These elderly can experience simulated situations that mirror real ones that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to because their condition makes them less mobile and cognisant. There have been studies that show that virtual reality application is effective in treating cognitive deficits.

Doctors use virtual reality as a diagnostic tool as well. By tracking eye movements, they are able to ascertain if patients have visual or cognitive impairments.
 

7. The arts

In the 1970s, the first fine arts virtual world was created. With improvements in technology, more artistic programmes have been produced that employ virtual reality. Since the mid-2010s, virtual festivals have also been organised.
 

8. Education & training

The classroom of the future will benefit from the use of virtual reality. Students can be placed in simulated environments to experience future or past scenarios as part of learning in a variety of disciplines. History students can travel back in time to experience events past, literally bringing the lessons to life. Geography students can visit places around the world and even under the earth that would greatly enhance the study of physical geography. Biology students can learn about the anatomy from within, going virtually into the human body.

Distance learners can be in classrooms anywhere in the world to enjoy realistic in-person lessons.

There has been encouragement towards the use of virtual reality in public libraries. This will open up access to vast amounts of educational experiences that transcend time and space. Imagine a world where virtual interactive copies of rare texts and artifacts are possible. That would greatly aid research and study.

Professions that have a high degree of risk – pilots, soldiers, police, fire fighters – can used simulated virtual reality environments for training. This would ensure the safety of people as well as save costs.

In the retail space, virtual reality has been used to train staff to manage challenges such as long queues and crowding. Walmart applied this technique to prepare their employees for Black Friday shoppers. In a report published by Statista, the total number of virtual reality users in the retail sector will reach 31.5 million by 2025.
 

9. Engineering & architecture

Scientific and engineering data visualisation has been made possible with virtual reality. This has deep implications for planning and designing. Virtual walk-throughs can help city planners and developers better anticipate and manage challenges even before the real structures are built. This would save both time and money.
 

10. Climate

Weather patterns can be simulated and experienced so that researchers can better plan for responses to weather and climate changes.
 

11. Advertising

As more virtual environments are created, advertising can move from the real to the created worlds, expanding the horizon of marketing. Virtual signboards and advertisements can be put up.

Brands can partner content developers to offer users experiences that centre around their products. Ad-tech start-up Immersv has invested about US$10.5 million in 360° videos, games and virtual reality ads. Google is, likewise, running virtual reality ad experiments.

Advantages of Virtual Reality

1. Lower cost

Using virtual reality, complex real-life scenarios can be created at a fraction of real costs. Mistakes can be made with less impact on overall costs as well. Troubleshooting, for example of structures, can also be done, preventing future problems that can incur added costs.
 

2. Lower risk

Virtual reality can be used to simulate dangerous situations as well as situations where high-cost equipment can be easily damaged. The high level of realism can provide accuracy for training and even education purposes while minimising risk and costs.
 

3. Higher productivity

Because it is virtual, time and space pose no constraints. Virtual reality also allows vast amounts of materials to be relayed easily and quickly. All this will improve productivity.

Risks of Virtual Reality

1. Greater realism

Much of the technology in virtual reality has concentrated on reproducing accurate sight and sound. But for a totally immersive experience, other senses need to stimulated, too. Tactile inputs such as omnidirectional treadmills and haptic technologies that recreate motion need to be developed to greater sophistication.
 

2. Health and safety

The use of virtual reality may come with side effects for some. Most virtual reality systems come with consumer warnings such as seizures, developmental issues in children, trip-and-fall and collision warnings, discomfort and repetitive stress injury. One in 4,000 people, or .025% of the population, may experience these symptoms which are more common for people under 25. Yet they are the exact demographic that would be more keen to use virtual reality.

Eye fatigue and virtual reality sickness or cybersickness are other side-effects that come with the use of virtual reality. Women are significantly more affected than men by these headset-induced symptoms which include headache, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation and apathy. 77% of women are more likely to develop these compared to 33% of men.
 

3. Developmental issues

Young children respond to immersive virtual reality very differently from adults. Children aged six to 18 reported higher levels of presence and realness of virtual environments than adults. This means they may have a harder time telling the difference between real and made-up. Issues of ethics, given the vast amount of violence in games, may come into question.

Future of Virtual Reality

The extended reality market is expected to hit US$18 billion in 2023 with the consumer virtual reality market making up most (US$16 billion) of that. By then, global extended reality headset shipments are estimated to reach over 68 million units.

These estimates were made before the COVID-19 pandemic, before the need for social distancing, before self-imposed isolation for the sake of safety became an imperative. There is agreement worldwide that when the world emerges from this global challenge, it would not be the same ever again. Virtual interactions, now a necessity, will become a norm. This will create more space for virtual reality technology to penetrate every aspect of our lives.

Advances in technology, including the move to hyper speed connections like 5G, will solidify the position of virtual reality technology. With 5G, smooth streaming of virtual reality data from the cloud will be made possible.

What this technology for the future needs to overcome are cost and ease of use. Compatible hardware is not often easy to find at cost-effective prices. For now, as wearable technology, the headsets are not always comfortable nor easy to put on. Virtual reality also needs to be used in a space not already cluttered with items, both for the safety of the people and the furniture. Not many of us own such versatile spaces.

When these can be overcome, virtual reality will be big and big business, too.

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