[FROM THE PAPER] Virtual Reality: Fad or the Future?

By Ashleigh Clarke - Reporter

2016 might just be the year the Virtual Reality makes it huge breakthrough, as more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. This year will centre on the experimentation of Virtual Reality and what it can offer us as consumers. Already, the Oculus Rift headset is available to pre order as well as PlayStation’s VR and HTC’S Vive. In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg wrote – “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people”, as he sees Virtual Reality as the next big computing platform, depending on whether it will become a mainstream device.
But, Virtual Reality isn’t just all about computers, as Sony has sold over 35 million PlayStation 4’s and hopefully intend to sell headsets to accompany them. But truly breaking through the market would mean targeting people who all have something in common: smartphones.

For example, Google Cardboard is a platform developed by Google themselves and is a makeshift device that you can slot your smartphone into. It has been widely popular as it is cheap to purchase and encourages interest and development in Virtual Reality products.

Developers have insisted that this won’t just be used in terms of gaming and plan to expand their design and make it available so you can experience just about anything. There are already talks of a handful of uses that this will be good for including: education and training, VR films, music, sports, and even porn. In terms of education, talks of children not being able to focus in the classroom and being bored by books, will actively encourage them to participate and have fun at the same time.

While this all seems to be well and good, there are downsides. For instance, those who can’t afford this technology will be left out and this could potentially break down social classes. Another negative would be the lack of communication amongst buyers, and those could become susceptible to deception and addiction which could further their neglect for real life responsibilities.

People have been known to also experience motion sickness while using Virtual Reality and while technology is still developing at such a rapid pace, there are many flaws to attend to.
In my opinion, just like anything shiny and new, it will soon become lost or forgotten give or take a few years and we, as an ever growing society, will just move on to the next best thing.

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