Virtual reality has long promised to immerse us in brave new worlds and let us do what would otherwise be impossible. That could be climbing Mt. Everest, fighting off an army of robots, or turning yourself into a Marvel superhero.
Or, well, that's what we always picture when we think about VR. It's always about games, 360 videos and narrative experiences. That stuff is great and interesting, but it's also just a part of what VR is capable of delivering. There is so much this budding medium has to offer.
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VR is, at the end of the day, a computing platform. It eliminates the indirect control of the mouse, keyboard and display and lets you interact with virtual content in a way we've never really been able to (sorry, touchscreen devices, you're still 2D).
The spirit of Wareable sometimes has us exploring lifestyle tech, like how my colleague Conor used wearables to get hench, or how Mike tracked his food with a variety of platforms. That's why, for the next couple of months, I'll be looking to see how VR can help me in other domains of my life. In what ways can VR's immersion make certain activities easier to do?
I've always enjoyed drawing, but my drawing skills aren't up to snuff – unless you wanted me to draw you a sick triangle-based spaceship, then I've got you covered. Can the immersion of VR and its 3D canvas allow me to get in touch with my inner artist? Could I become a technology-backed Da Vinci?
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That's the first question I'll be trying to answer, and I'll follow that up with plenty more. Could I work an entire week at Wareable from VR? Maybe learn a language or conquer a fear? Why not try to travel the world from my living room, or make a friend within the confines of VR? Can I actually get fit with VR? I won't be forgetting the popular mobile VR market either, as I'll explore how good VR is when I take it out of the house.
Speaking of hardware, along the way I'll be running through nearly every VR system out there. I've got the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR up at the high end, with a hearty assist from from Windows Mixed Reality headsets. I'll also have the Daydream View and Gear VR to keep me company on the go.
I'm here to prove that virtual reality isn't just about entertainment, that it can be used to actually be productive – whether that be something that's actually productive, like learning a language or working, or simply doing some much-needed socialising. Here's hoping that by the end of our time together, we'll find out that VR has come further along than we realised, and that you can replace some of what you do now with something a little better.
Alternatively, I could discover that the exact opposite is true and that VR is useless beyond entertainment – and that we'll just have to wait for AR to come along and usher us into a new reality.
So, dear reader, do not hesitate to come along for the ride as I try to substitute my life for a virtual one in many number of ways.
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