Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. - Wikipedia.
Here is an expert review on if virtual reality can substitute actual reality.
In brief, virtual reality is presently in its infancy. Yes, processing speeds have increased as well as video rendering capabilities; however, actual reality consists of not only high-resolution visual imagery but is also impacted and formed by the receptors of the other 4 senses (touch, taste, sound, smell).
Although there are body suits and sensors as well as seating units which can accurately simulate certain situations, they continue to be limited. In order for virtual reality to truly be a substitute for actual reality, the combination and integration of the human body's major senses need to be so tightly integrated, that one truly forgets that they are in a virtual world. At this juncture, however, virtual reality apparatus and devices, although much more advanced than even several years ago, cannot substitute for a walk through ocean waters with bare feet near the shoreline, nor can virtual reality truly substitute for holding an adorable baby in your hands. Hence, until virtual reality can tightly couple and mirror the human body's senses, it will continue to remain virtual.
CEO Aston & James, LLC
In short no, I don't think Virtual Reality can substitute actual reality and real life, however, that doesn't mean the idea is flawed or the ambitions of VR will never get off the ground.
In fact, on the contrary, I think virtual reality is going to be one of the most powerful shifts in computing we have ever seen, up there with the likes of the smartphone revolution and the emergency of blockchain technology, VR is going to create new experiences that are otherwise impossible without it.
Virtual Reality has a few very strong use cases, firstly for those who are incapacitated, disabled or unable to connect with real people in the real world, while it's unlikely to ever be as immersive as films like Ready Player One would like to have you believe it will still be a far greater social experience than sitting at a screen with a keyboard and mouse.
VR is so immersive that it's already changing the lives of many people who are unable to experience things like travelling, skiing and more.
Need proof? Watch this video and the dramatic impact it has had on this gentleman's life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxW7zzQ1Swg
Virtual Reality can also put the user in situations that are dangerous, extremely costly or simply impossible without it. Examples include safety training where you can create simulations of extremely tense situations without any risks and costs.
Another great use case is in the creative and design space, the ability to design things in a life-like situation where you are working on a virtual reality car design and seeing your creation come to life as you build it and also to scale rather than using a small clay model on a table.
So no, I don't think virtual reality will ever involve switching off your actual reality in favour of the virtual world but I also don't believe that to be the purpose, the purpose is to replace hazardous situations and create new scenarios that can't be simulated in real life.
Designer, Developer & Digital Marketer
Virtual Reality enhances and prepares people for the actual reality but cannot ever replace it. For educational and training sessions such as surgery or machine training, VR is a fantastic training tool to prepare people prior to engaging in the actual real experiences. For example, having a medical student train on VR as well as cadavers prior to real-live surgery should shorten training time and significantly improve patient procedure success ratios. The army is leveraging Mixed Reality and VR to train soldiers prior to encountering real life-threatening situations. VR delivers tremendous value in these types of scenarios and will continue to grow as more VR use cases are successful in the actual world. Saving people's lives is a true ROI for VR.
But VR cannot replace the true experience of human interaction and engagement. There are subtle nuances and emotions in people socializing that cannot be replicated in today's world by VR including the human touch. Communication and expressiveness is the key to happiness and success both personally and professionally. It cannot easily be replaced by leveraging VR technology. The world would become a sterile unemotional environment with machine interactions and humans hiding behind computers like the Wizard of Oz. Then we are no longer improving our lives with VR but rather interacting for convenience without any true soul.
MRB Public Relations, Inc.
It's easy to sell VR to gamers. People have problems with the adoption of home automation systems, and virtual reality is on a completely different level of complexity.
In a way, I imagine there's going to be a lot of initial reluctance to fully embrace the technology (when it's perfected). But in one aspect I can imagine VR replacing the reality we are living in - and that's marketing. Virtual reality in marketing provides users with physical experience, enabling them to fully experience the products magic before deciding to buy.
Virtual reality is a significant opportunity for both manufacturers and customers and offers countless possibilities. The big potential lies in the ability to deploy VR in mobile apps on smartphones, so brands can start a new channel of communication with customers in a whole new and different way.
As for all the dystopian images that come to mind imagining the full implications of VR technology, I think we're decades from the possibility of fooling the senses, so the answer to this question is far off into the future, or hopefully, never.
Name: Darren Lavender
While it’s impossible to say whether VR technology will advance to the point of replicating reality, it’s safe to say that the future is very far off. That is being said, advanced graphical techniques such as ray-tracing are being used to create graphics that almost photo realistic. It’s possible that in another decade (or less) we’ll be watching movies and playing video games that are indiscernible from real life.
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