The Virtual Era is Here

Monday, September 21, 2020

You’ve probably heard about the essentials of virtual reality in science fiction films – or any news article referencing the future of gaming. What if we told you that the age of virtual reality isn’t exactly the future? What if we told you that the era of virtual reality is already among us?

What is Virtual Reality?

First things first. We can take Iberdrola’s definition of VR as the following: “Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings.” Taking this definition, virtual reality can be broken down as follows: it is a computer generated reality, it offers an immersive experience for the user, and, in order for it to be considered an alternative reality for the user, it is a three-dimensional experience.

Of course, virtual reality does not exclude impossibly imaginary scenarios to be considered “real” for the user. Take science fiction, for instance – the universe that wrapped us up in many beloved space films made us believe every second of the storyline, no matter how impossible the narrative would seem to fit in the real world. As long as the laws of this fictional universe appear to respect their own imaginary fields, the world that envelopes the user will be appear to be as immersive and real as the reality they’ve come to accept in the physical world. Ergo, if the scenario in which the user is immersed defies the laws of gravity and physics, it can still ring true if everything around them in this virtual fantasy seem to respect those out-of-ordinary laws.

What’s the difference between Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

We previously defined VR as a virtual, immersive experience, e reality of its own nature, that respects its own laws, and provides a completely enveloping experience for the user. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is when these fantasy features leak into the real world. A few years back, for instance, a mobile VR game was all the hype, causing a cultural phenomenon in every inch of the world. Mobile phones were used as visors or gateways to this imaginary universe. People would hold their phones, and through their cameras, see how fiction hid behind the non-fiction. AR, therefore, is, as its name would suggest, when elements of the virtual world are added into the physical world to provide an augmented experience for the user. Both VR and AR become live through technology, and both are paving the way of the future as we speak. They are not levels or tiers to an overall unit – they should each be treated and explored as their own different galaxies, in this ever-expanding virtual universe.

Technology advances at an extraordinary rate, where devices become obsolete within months of their innovative launch; virtual reality on the other hand, is not exactly a product-based industry. Though there are devices provided by the market to access these digital worlds, VR and AR’s extraordinary essence is nontangible. AR and VR exist to enhance user experiences through an ever-evolving dynamic. In the previous century, humanity joked on the possibility of migrating Mars or the Moon as planet Earth would eventually run out of space. The physical world faces its own challenges and restrictions, whereas the virtual universe opens a gate to an expanding space of cero limitations. In a place full of physical limitations and scarcity, man turned to his own creation and found its own salvation.