Virtual Reality A Modern Technology
When you hear the words “virtual reality” you might think of fun headsets that allow you to fall into a world of fun gaming and cool 360 scenarios, but there might be some facts hiding that you may not know about. Virtual reality is technology that tracks your eyes to create a virtual world with computer generated simulations to make you feel like you're actually in a scene. This technology is used in a variety of ways from medically, to educationally and last but not least, for video games. VR technology (specifically headsets) gained its popularity in 2014. Virtual reality has brought some advances in technology and has become used by many people. This eye tracking technology was first introduced as a way for people to view films up close, similarly to how VR is used today. Today, virtual reality has become more of a controversial topic that many have different views on. The advantages of virtual reality technology do not outweigh the disadvantages of using VR Technology based on possible health problems, and VR interfering with our lives.
Furthermore, virtual reality technology comes with some physical risks, including injury and long term effects in young children. According to the article, “Potential dangers with virtual reality headsets concern doctors, parents”, the author, Tj Holmes mentions, “Virtual reality has people literally falling over themselves, as it immerses them in a 3D world of sport, adventure and even danger.” (Source 2) One main disadvantage and concern of doctors and medical specialists is the possibility of getting injured. People tend to get extremely focused into the game they might be playing that they forget they’re not actually in the scene they might be seeing through VR goggles. There have been multiple cases of people running into objects in their homes, and even people falling forward crashing into the floor. A fall like this could easily escalate into a serious injury that needs to be treated. The author, Tj Holmes mentions, in the article, “Potential dangers with virtual reality headsets concern doctors, parents”, “In virtual reality, basically the brain is only getting input from the eyes,” (Source 2) To be more specific, these long term effects could happen to anyone but the main focus is on how virtual reality will affect young children. Some doctors are skeptical about the input only from the eyes and no other senses. They have some fear that this will impact how we take in certain things. If these effects are in fact long term, they could cause other issues that pop up in the future. Despite virtual reality being a “want” from children, there are many who still remain unsure about how this technology will affect young children in the future, and how it could cause minor and even major injuries.
In addition, those who use virtual reality technology may begin to ignore daily responsibilities and disconnect from what's going on around them. The authors of the article, “Looks Great, But Is It Really”, mention, “These critics fear that users will begin to ignore their real-life responsibilities, like caring for pets or going to school or work.” (Source 1) As virtual reality begins to become more and more popular, people will become more invested in it and may begin to avoid tasks such as going to work or school. Especially for younger children, the idea of them not going to school or completing other tasks might worry some adults. Ignorance of real-life responsibilities could also negatively teach children that it's okay to do so. If they learn this now, it will affect their ability to be on their own in the future, and they will most likely struggle to be independent. In the cartoon, “Virtual Reality”, illustrated by Andy Singer, it is shown that a child has a VR headset on, and is completely unaware of what is going on in the world around them. (Source 3) Additionally, the boy in the cartoon is so focused on his VR headset that he doesn't realize the pollution, trash, and other hazardous things that are surrounding him. These are all current real world events that need to be resolved. Just like ignoring daily responsibilities, there are current events going on in the world that also need attention and cannot be ignored. If this technology does become this much of an addiction, the illustration could become a reality.
In contrast, others may feel differently about the use of VR technology and believe that it is more beneficial than detrimental. The pie chart, “Virtual Reality Uses By 2025”, projects that healthcare, education, and engineering industries are on their way to using this technology largely, in the future. On the other hand, the use of VR technology for medical uses would be huge and would help with advancements in other areas of the medical field. Not only this, but the education field would also find many great uses out of virtual reality technology such as for teaching certain lessons, or letting students experience topics they're learning about. According to the pie chart, “Virtual Reality Uses BY 2025”, about half of the pie chart is made up from video entertainment, live events, and gaming. Video entertainment, live events, and gaming create a large portion of the pie chart, more than the military, healthcare, engineering, education, real estate, and retail uses combined. While the use of VR would be extremely beneficial for healthcare and educational uses, the majority of the pie chart shows that in 2025 the uses for this technology will be mainly for entertainment.
In spite of the many beneficial uses of VR, there are still many downsides of the technology
Correspondingly, the disadvantages of virtual reality technology outweigh the advantages. Physical effects to the body, and the ignorance of everyday tasks are just two of the many downsides of VR technology. Virtual reality is used across the board with many uses, beneficial and detrimental. It has become popular amongst people and industries. The technology though does have disadvantages that outweigh the advantages. Now before you fall back into the world of VR, think again about the effects of virtual reality.