The emergence of virtual reality is a little bit played out at this point, as far as interesting things to write about, reviews of products, etc. VR is no longer coming; it’s here, and slowly but surely we’re all getting used to it as a mainstream corner of the technology world. There is one thing that doesn’t get too much coverage, however, and that’s the idea that virtual reality could bring about some truly odd new was for us to entertain ourselves and keep busy. We’re not just talking about original video games here, or films in VR, but instead strange concepts that would effectively represent whole new types of activities.
Here are four of the things we’re thinking about.
Simulated Sports Spectatorship
This is something we’re starting to hear more and more about. The idea is that virtual reality will be able to make us feel as if we’re actually sitting or standing in a sports stadium watching a game take place really we’re snug at home. The simplest idea would be to just pick a seat in an arena and watch live action from that vantage point – after all, some ticket purchasing sites already provide views from specific seats. However, there are some alternate versions of the idea also. One company won a prize last year with a demo in which the co-founder watched in VR from the corner of a soccer field where a live match was being played. Now, other sports team owners have publicly discussed the concept of watching a game from the vantage point of an actual player on the court!
Entirely Fake Sports
The idea of watching entirely fake sports via virtual reality might sound crazy, but we’re probably not far from that point. In fact, virtual sports have already become popular as their own niche in the casino gaming business. There is now such a thing as an electronic horse race where you can play the odds to win a virtual race – and there are actually other sports emerging as well; full virtual tennis matches can be bet on, for example. These experiences are currently just bizarre (yet popular) online games, but in VR they would jump to a whole new level of entertainment. Think of the potential, even, for unrealistic sports. Users could watch matches in the fictional sport of Quidditch from the Harry Potter universe, for one thing, or watch the cartoon “Toon Squad” from the film Space Jam playing basketball.
Brand New Workout Machines (& Workouts)
That VR will affect home workouts is not particularly surprising. Plenty of private developers have already done deep experimentation with cycling, using VR headsets to “transport” users to various roads and routes as they peddle along on home cycling equipment. Versions of this could also be accomplished with running, walking, and even climbing fitness technology. What’s stranger and more interesting though is the idea of entirely new workouts being introduced. The earliest example we have is a fitness machine that simulates flying and pairs with a VR headset. Strapped into a machine, you use your whole body to move a contraption that holds you above the ground, exercising even as you fulfill the sensation of flying over landscapes you’ll see in your headset.
New Social Networks
This is maybe the most obvious and the most unsettling potential avenue for VR. Already, we’ve found that VR games can tap into multiplayer gaming concepts with ease – but what will happen when VR and social networks cozy up to one another? It could well be that we’re into something resembling a real life version of the Sims games, in which we can put on our VR headsets and become avatars that we construct in an entirely digital alternate reality. It will be a social network in a sense, but one further removed from reality than what we’re used to. And it could wind up being one of the busiest applications of VR.
Image from http://readnlove.com/virtual-reality-is-it-the-end-of-an-era-of-mutual-human-interaction/