Where do we stand with Virtual and Augmented Reality Today?

Virtual reality goes back to 1968. Ivan Sutherland, an American computer scientist, created the first VR/AG module with a student. Nothing like today’s VR hardware, they named it ominously “Sword of Damocles,” the pair knew they were onto something good. Several decades later, augmented, and virtual reality is everywhere around us. Even though its uses are still subtle in public, it has been making a big difference behind the scenes.

VR solutions are slowly beginning to take hold of entertainment, but that’s not the only place. Doctors and Air Force pilots train in realistic simulators powered by VR/AG solutions. Surgeons can use advanced imaging to create a virtual copy of an organ or a tumor. Combined with a VR practice environment, surgeons can train specific procedures. Giving themselves a better chance of success before entering the operating room.

Naturally, VR and AG has given rise to some Luddite fears. A future where human consciousness becomes trapped in a simulated world is terrifying. Depending on which philosophers you choose to read, we may already be living in a simulation. Our reality is often questioned as the product of simulation in various pop culture settings.

Whether this is true, we are about to find out. The book, “The Simulation Hypothesis” by MIT scientist Rizwan Virk offers an explanation. He argues that the ability to create a VR environment that simulates our world is definitive proof that we already live in virtual reality. This is also an idea broached by popular movie franchises such as The Matrix series by the Wachowskis.

Outside of Simulated Reality, How Close Are We to Real VR/AG?

Very close in fact. A full virtual reality that successfully emulates our world or creates very realistic experiences is just a few decades away. A big step in that direction has been made by Meta. The now-rebranded Facebook company has created a digital environment to serve as the future social media.

The Metaverse is fully powered by VR/AG solutions and it intends to recreate the world and allow us to interact. Microsoft is also creating virtual reality-powered spaces. Not for social media but rather to conduct meetings as the global pandemic still rages on.

However, is the “metaverse” going to be realized within our lifetime? The answer is definitely yes. Those born in the Millennial generation will likely witness a landing on Mars and other great scientific leaps forward.

Many of these future achievements will be affected by VR and AG technologies. Future scientists will be able to simulate challenging scenarios with incredible accuracy. Not least, we have the ability to test limitlessly until we get it right. All thanks to VR and AG.

VR and AG Are Already Doing Good in the World

We may be still a ways off from playing video games in photorealistic VR. Yet, many VR/AR solutions are being utilized in serious sciences. Training surgeons is becoming quite common, as we mentioned. Fire fighters are also using this technology in burning buildings. Augmented Reality can point fire fighters towards exits or overlay blueprints for navigation in smoke. Potentially lifesaving and powerful uses of this technology.

Fighter jet pilots spend days in simulators to hone their reflexes. Better virtual simulations allow them to excel. In a word, the world we know today is heavily influenced by Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Entertainment is also getting a piece out of the VR action. Virtual reality slot games are becoming increasingly popular. Although developers are treading carefully as the consumer tech is still in its infancy. As the technology becomes cheaper consumers may expect to see more VR/AR introduced to their daily lives.

Should We Fear the Arrival of Mass VR?

Change is a constant. AR/VR tech is already here and will be a part of the future of technology. We should not fear AR and VR. These two solutions are already making so much for us without most people realizing.

Advancing the tech to a point where it can do even more on a budget is important. This will allow more people to have access to solutions that will work wonders.

The idea behind a digital world is fascinating and VR/AR are already shaping our perceptions. Preparing us for the arrival of solutions that will change how we interact with reality. None of this should frighten us. Rather, it should be a springboard for the next big step in human evolution.