Ready Player One is a book (author: Ernest Cline) and movie (director: Stephen Spielberg) centered around how people in the future live, work, and play in an expansive Virtual Reality world called the OASIS. So just how plausible is it that we will live in such a world, what will it be like, and how far away are we from this possibility?
With the advent of AI, improvements of computer graphics, desire to be removed from the doldrums of reality, it’s not a question of “will” but more a question of “when."
You may be surprised to learn that we currently have the ability to use VR, have haptic gloves and haptic suits, have Omni-directional treadmills, have multi-player games and therefore all of the hardware possibilities of RP1 exist today!
MXTreality CEO Jeff Rayner adorns a multitude of haptic and peripheral devices that provide solutions for ultimate accessibility and immersion
Add to that simulations like Sims, Second Life and you are getting into the social and virtual living aspects.
When Disney dives into the social virtual gaming you know its going to be ubiquitous
In essence, we are essentially there now, it will just take some improved internet connections like 5G, and more development of these simulations and insta-ready connections of these external devices, peripherals and haptic sensations to be completely immersed. When current tech combined with desire (e.g. Facebook and others are doubling down on Social Media platforms transitioning more and more to VR and AR), the perfect storm is on the horizon, and it looks more and more like what we saw in Ready Player One.
If you're squeamish about this being the future, there are many very useful virtual interactions, and it's always merely an option. Pluto VR is a Seattle based company developing VR & AR human connectivity solutions via a connected social platform. The Pluto team recognizes the demand for connection across great distances and is working on virtual presence and shared understandings by seeing each others hands, eyes, and body language. VR has a lot of potential for loved ones, business partners, and total strangers to connect in way that is more intimate than a video call or FaceTime due to the immersive nature and fully body potential experiences of VR.
It's not a matter of when; it becomes more of a question of what aspects are furthest accelerated first. The sensation of touch through haptics for instance is very quickly generating momentum. We at MXTreality have partnered with firms like Teslasuit, BendLabs and UltraHaptics. Using their tech, from full body sensory suits, to haptic gloves, and in-air touch respectively, you are able to touch, feel and interact with things that don't exist. As an example, if you see a virtual object and reach out to touch it or nudge into it, the haptic sensations will confuse your brain and you will struggle to differentiate real from virtual. Of course touching objects is one thing, but imagine the implications of haptic touch simulating hugs with loved ones across the planet, or being hit by stray laser guns in a world like Ready Player One - these sensations exist today.
Long distance romantic relationships are likely on the cusp of graduating their calamitous stigma. But what will happen when you spend long periods of time in VR, like a month straight in a virtual reality environment and then come out?
While it's tough to say for sure, there's some fair guesses that can be made, especially since social media tech personality JAK spent a week in VR early this year. Check out this amazing video that sums up his experience:
Things you’ll likely encounter once you are back in reality:
* Really weird dreams
* Eye strain
* Deeper feeling of immersion in your surroundings
* Appreciation for food, drink, taste, smells, sights, combinations
To our knowledge, no one has gone longer than a week. However, it is reasonable to suspect that the product manufacturers, military and government agencies have been carrying out trials in similar simulations.
Whether we’ll learn of the results is another story.
In conclusion, from everything we’ve observed thus far, there are lots of nuanced concerns, yet all are short lived. The reality is that long periods of VR exposure, likely for entertainment, study, training, employment, and rehab are going to be presented as an ever increasing opportunity, and more & more people are going to be interested in spending vast amounts of time in virtual environments while not thinking twice about sacrificing things like natural sunlight when the worlds they are immersing themselves in, truly, are the stuff dreams are made of.
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