ADSactly Tech News - Is VR All Its Hyped Up to Be or Not?

in #vr4 years ago

ADSactly Tech News: Is VR All Its Hyped Up to Be or Not?

Image Source: Pexels

  • Virtual reality has been hyped as the next great tech revolution backed by many potential use cases but so far it hasn't caught on like developers had hoped it would.

  • Applications in VR enable mind expanding experiences and contain a lot of entertainment value but may not become commonplace in society.

I've written articles in the past about VR and its potential to transform the way we interact socially or rehabilitation methods used by high end hospitals but I think it may be time to look at the topic from another perspective.

Is it really all that it is hyped up to be? What are its flaws and what possible reasons may there be for it not living up to all its hype.

So, without further delay lets dig into the matter and see what can be learned. I guess its best to start at the beginning. So what exactly is VR and how can it be described?

It is commonly understood that VR is :

The use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.

Basically it is computer technology designed to alter the state of reality for the user. The creation and application of a digital environment to bring about new experiences.

VR has the ability to take its user somewhere different and stimulate their senses in an effort to make the experience as real as possible while remaining stationary or possibly moving in a facility containing the equipment necessary to do so.

Even if we understand VR or have at least have begun to understand what it is. One has to ask does it really have much value? Why would someone want to experience a virtual reality when reality itself is at their fingertips? What purpose could it possibly serve that reality could not?

It is true that VR does serve unique purposes and its application for medical research and rehabilitation is undeniable. In an article published by Forbes entitled 'Virtual Reality: The Alternative To Marijuana And Opioids For Pain Management' I learned that it can be a surprisingly good alternative to the use of pain medication. To be honest this sounds too good to be true and I'm unsure of whether it is true or not. Does the mind really have that much power over the body?

According to the article there are many applications for its use in modern hospitals including surgery, rehabilitative medicine, psychiatry, and psychology.

One of the most common references of VR applications is its use as a “pain-killer”, and is even more relevant today with the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States which has resulted in almost 100 people dying every day due to opioid drug overdoses. In the U.S. alone, 116 million adults struggle with chronic pain at a cost of $635 billion in lost productivity and treatment. In 2012, healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, which is enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.

I simply have trouble believing that our minds are so powerful that simply being distracted or visually experiencing something pleasant could do wonders to reduce pain... There is a saying, whatever floats your boat. I guess what I mean by this is that what works for some may have no effect on others. There is something called placebo which essentially is the power of the mind to alter a physical state. What if I told you that listening to the sound of river rapids could ease your pain. If you believed me and you tried it, the variable of placebo may actually help your mind to reduce your pain. That is the power of belief.

VR has already proved successful in addressing any pain associated with acute procedures, working by distracting the patients. But chronic pain usage is also coming up, and can significantly improve the lives of those living with chronic pain! AppliedVR has eight distraction applications, including games like ‘Feeding Frenzy’ as well as immersive experiences such as ‘Farm Sanctuary’.

According to this research VR has the ability reduce acute pain and has also proven useful in addressing chronic pain. I never wish pain upon myself or anyone for that matter and I don't have enough information at this point to validate or invalidate these findings. I guess time will tell...

Image Source: Pexels

Beyond assisting in medical applications VR has been touted for helping people to live healthier and happier lives.

What other applications does it have for people that just want to have a good time? Where can one go about getting a VR headset? I want to play, who do I have to pay?

According to a research report published by Marxant Labs, it seems the main companies with their finger on the pulse of this industry with VR products for sale include: Oculus Rift, Oculus VR and Facebook.

After Facebook bought Oculus in 2014, social experiences via VR became an additional priority for the company. With their more recent acquisition of Surreal Vision, a 3D scene reconstruction research group from England, Oculus is poised to bring telepresence to the VR headset. While two versions of Oculus headsets have already been released to developers, with a third on the way, the customer version is set to be released in early 2016.

So let me get this straight, Oculus did such a great job in producing and marketing their VR product that the big whale Facebook decided to swallow them whole? Yep, that's about right.

Isn't this rapant capitalism trying to promote a trend and get people excited about a technology that could very well be obsolete ten years from now? Possibly.

It is however interesting how they are directing their new acquisition towards the specialty niche of social experiences with VR. This means that we may all be meeting for high tea on Facebook's platform via our Facebook VR headsets. Stay tuned for that exciting development...

I don't know about you but I like living in the real world. I don't play games every waking hour of my day. I like real experiences. Does that make me a freak of modern society?


Don't despair if you aren't a Facebook fan either because there are a lot of other players in the game that would love to take your money in exchange for a cool VR rig!

There are options like the Microsoft HoloLens, Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Vive by Valve. All of these systems show a lot of potential and will keep a competitive industry even more competitive.

So now we've established the purpose of VR, some of its medical applications and the major players currently developing and selling systems. So what about the cool side of VR? What kind of fun is there to be had with current systems?

Image Source: Pexels

Apparently there is a company called 'The Void' looking to expand to new markets. The company has developed a few amazing and elaborate virtual reality productions based on Ghostbusters and Star Wars. The Utah-based company recently announced that it’s opening “experience centers” in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Hollywood, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Santa Monica, California; and Washington, DC.

So not only is VR in people's homes but is steadily becoming an arcade phenomenon replacing traditional arcade games with new more exciting virtual experiences to be had. Alternately another company is battling it out with The Void.

Dave & Buster’s plans on installing more than 500 HTC Vive VR headsets in its arcades across the US and Canada this month in a subtle acknowledgment that maybe arcades have nothing better to offer than a VR experience in 2018.

The headsets will show up on June 14th and will be paired with a “participant motion platform,” which means players will be thrust around. Because this headset inclusion is the result of a partnership between Dave & Buster’s and HTC, the arcade company says it plans to announce exclusive content, although it hasn’t provided any specifics.

If you have seen a new movie just to hit the silver screens called 'Ready Player 1' a really cool technology is shown off that is almost ready in real life. The omnidirectional treadmill. With this device you will be able to run jump and do all sorts of things that require movement while creating a deeper sensation of actually being in virtual reality rather than a vague illusion that the mind has trouble believing.

The Strider VR has an omnidirectional treadmill design, that uses a rotatable ball array positioned above a traditional linear treadmill. By adding the combination of with a Microsoft Kinect 2 sensor the system is actually able to provide a sort of 'Ready Player 1' experience.

The Strider VR concept is an interesting one, as it combines full-body tracking and unrestricted walking using a fairly simple mechanical solution, but the execution appears to have some drawbacks. One of the main challenges of this type of hardware is the interpretation of virtual movement. The system has to provide responsive virtual movement (based on what your legs are doing) while not misinterpreting the corrective ‘recentering’ motions as inputs, which could be particularly difficult in this case as it relies heavily on Kinect’s motion tracking.

Basically what this is saying is that Strider VR is very cool but still has a lot of bugs to be worked out. In addition software needs to be improved to match movement seemlessly. So don't get too excited yet, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done to make this thing perfect. It may never be perfected and assuming they could perfect it would people really feel this was a necessity in their home? These questions must be asked and the answers must align with yes if VR is truly going to catch on.

Image Source: Pexels

Based on all the research I've presented above, there is a lot to learn about VR systems currently on the market and those currently being developed. VR has come a long way in a short time but that still doesn't mean it is here to stay.

The applications are all over the place and VR could be an important tool to help people fix psychological problems, alleviate pain and help people relax. But so could walks in the park, healthy diets and exercise. The verdict is still out.

Don't get me wrong, I still see potential in this growing industry and I'm interested to see where it all goes but I'm still not sold either.

Now I want to know what my fellow @ADSactly society members think about all this... Have you experienced VR? What was it like? Do you know anyone that has received medical treatment through the use of VR? What do you expect future VR systems to allow us to explore? Do you think VR will become a mainstream necessity or will it remain a quirky toy for rich people?

Here's a chance for the @ADSactly community to leave their thoughts and opinions on this topic!

Thanks for reading.

Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

"Cloning horror: Human clone fears as Euro scientists CREATE LIFE from ‘nothing’" - Express

"These puppies might be Maryland's first cloned dogs" - Baltimore Sun

"What is Virtual Reality? [Definition and Examples]" - Marxent

"Virtual Reality: The Alternative To Marijuana And Opioids For Pain Management" - Forbes

"The Void is opening nine new VR centers in Austin, Philadelphia, and other US cities" - The Verge

"Dave & Buster’s is building HTC Vive-equipped VR arcades" - The Verge

Image Sources:


Baltimore Sun

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Excellent reflection and work, @techblogger. these days around here I was reading a fictitious story, which could be real, about the 10000 steps bracelet and we came to the conclusion that it looked like a joke. Like you, I'm not a fan of games and electronic reality, but I can understand that there is a boom and an interest not only to know but to experience this kind of virtual experience. In fact, I read that every day there are more Koreans, Asians are pioneers in many things, who preferred to have romantic relationships and virtual dating because they skipped some social steps that can be unpleasant or useless. Also, I read the importance of virtual reality for patients with mobility problems. I believe that beyond the fascinating and innovative that virtual reality means, at no time can it be a substitute for true reality. Human beings are vicious by nature and could surely fall into the need to escape from their environment and take refuge in that unreal space. Well, that's my humble opinion!

The treatment of phobias with virtual reality applications is very similar to the exposure therapy described above. The patient plunges into the virtual environment where he can face his fears.

For example the phobia of public speaking is successfully treated with the application of virtual reality in the field of health. The patient is placed in a virtual room in front of an audience, where he has to speak and overcome his fear.

Any phobia influences the patient's quality of life, causing panic attacks and abnormal behavior in everyday situations. To bring these people back to normal life, different types of situations have been programmed. But the treatment of phobias with virtual reality is one of the safest, fastest and most effective.

I do agree that it has value. I'm just not sure it is going to make as much of an impact as the news and media hypes it up to be. The jury is still out...

Very true. Treatment of phobias seems to be so effective in VR because

  1. In VR doctor or patient can control the environment very finely for example move spiders remotely, select number of them if they jump or not etc. In real life you can visit insectarium but can't select the environment or control spiders behaviour. Also it's easier to persuade someone with phobia to put on a headset then to visit insectarium every weak or so ;)

  2. Some phobias simply are too complicated or cumbersome to be desensitivesed in real life. Example, fear of flying planes, first you get used to seating in passengers seat, then you circle around for a bit, then maybe you lift off and immediately touch down afterwards. Who has money, space and time to organize something like this in RL? ; p In VR? Not a problem.

P.S VR can also cure lazy eye, people can see in 3d stereoscopy for the first time in their life after VR sessions :)

By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell,...

That sounds more like a 4D when smell and touch is included. And I agree, the price might be one of the main factors. There are plenty of great ideas with hype not meeting it’s expectations such as solar power, 3D printing, or VR. I guess the time, price and adaptation will tell and eventually will improve in the future.

In 2012, healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers, which is enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.

😱! I personally take maybe 2-3 Advils per year. I try to deal with small pains or headaches the natural way. So far it has worked perfectly. Many people use it every single time they feel a little pain and that’s the problem. They get addicted and their body requires stronger and stronger dose, which eventually leads to a disaster. It’s definitely better to deal with it by use of VR and getting addicted than taking a pills and getting addicted.

I don't know about you but I like living in the real world. I don't play games every waking hour of my day. I like real experiences.

I personally don’t play video games at all. I love nature and if that makes me freak of nature I’m ok with that 😆. Even though I don’t have sympathy for Facewhat, I wish Oculus the best future. At the end, there is over 7 billion people on this planet and still growing. With that said, there will always be someone using VR in a big scale just like more and more people are adopting to blockchain technology and cryptocurency even with today’s heartbreaking bear market.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that still appreciates real social interaction, nature and the real world!

VR is here to stay for sure, but it needs to be more readily accessible by the mainstream. We just had a bunch of family over last night and it was great getting everyone on the Oculus and seeing people freak out, and just have a lot of fun. Every one of them wanted to get my setup but were hesitant when I told them what I set up with the computer, oculus w/ 3rd sensor, etc.
It's all about getting the price down and the experience up! I'm looking at you annoying HDMI/USB cable from the headset. Also, most of the content is just meh or gimmicks. There are some bright spots that have been hours/days of fun. Skyrim VR, Fallout VR, and Beat Saber were the games that I played more than an hour. All of them incredibly addictive and fun.
Anyhow, I really enjoy my VR setup, but can't wait to see what comes out in the future. Cheers!

Interesting point of view! Happy to have a positive take on it and some specific examples of good value in terms of fun experiences and entertainment. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this review, I believe it is helpful for a lot of readers. Take care @christitus!

After watching the movie created by Steven Spielberg Ready Player One, I am more curious what virtual reality can bring to the future. Steven is known for his works, some of it became in reality just a couple of years after.

Today, we are solving the crashing financial system I think after this could be a problem in space and environment like what the movie says. But who knows, we must be very vigilant.

It's based on a book by Ernest Cline, which Spielberg tapped into.

I don't like having a screen so close to my eyes, no thanks!!

I've been using VR for about 2 years now with the Oculus dk2 and cv1. The big thing that's holding it back right now is the lack of AAA games that would make people want to rush out and buy it. We've just had the announcement of several next gen headsets that may get more people interested because of the better immersion from higher resolutions but the real problem here is quality software being developed.

I've read other Steemians comment the same thing above. It appears content is lacking bigtime which is holding VR back from really meeting its true potential. It will probably continue to impress as the technology is built upon in the future. I'm waiting in anticipation.

Provocative post. I wrote something a bit similar recently titled 'Is VR dying?' direct link: Ade's Press.

I've bookmarked your post on Steempeak, as I'm hoping to find good articles and writers on Steem to help enhance my blog, connected to Steem.

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You always make wonder with all the tech update @techblogger here at @adsactly you keep me hooked for all news update
VR as pain killer is very informative. But i believe any thing that distract you from something disturbing is very useful. Like playing video games or listening to music similarly VR keeps your mind stimulated for exploring

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@techblogger, For sure Virtual Reality is an trending aspect and that is because, in my opinion the concept of the Virtual Reality is creating an effect like unrealistic life before our eyes.

And we can see that the gaming platform is one where the Virtual Reality is planned for the implementation, and in my opinion we can see that the gaming experience also becoming more Advanced.

And the next aspect is movie and nowadays if we observe then for sure we can see that the movie industry moving towards the Full Fledged Virtual Reality Technology.

Now we have to wait and see that where this Virtual Reality will take us in future and what tools and technology will be get introduced and how it will impact us.

Wishing you an great day and stay blessed. 🙂

VR definitely here to stay at least as far as gaming and video / art content are concerned. Ecosystem is already large enough to sustain itself with a dedicated playerbase that refuses to play anything that's not VR and indie devs creating content that targets this particular niche. NVidia now includes a Virtuallink connector on all of their new GFX cards which is a big thing. It's like HDMI for VR :)

Will it go mainstream like in RPO is another thing and remains yet to be seen. Not sure if it will replace desktop monitors etc ;)

P.S Some parts of your article need to be updated. For example Project Morpheus is an old codename for what eventually became PSVR - Most successful HMD to date with over 2mln units sold worldwide.