In the last year, Virtual Reality has taken the gaming scene by storm. The new technology that stems from the concept has changed the way that game design is thought about, and has changed the way that we view the world around us.
In one case, Dr. Albert Rizzo, Director of Medicinal Virtual Reality, has found a psychological way to help PTSD patients deal with their disorder using VR. The program essentially allows patients to face their traumas directly rather than trying to suppress or ignore them. The focus of the project is allowing patients to communicate in a more direct manner and work through somewhat difficult issues.
Dr. Rizzo is teaming up with Dell to make the project more widely known.
At SXSW this year, multiple panels have been devoted to presenting new ways to use augmented reality in ways that seemed unimaginable.
Historic astronaut Buzz Aldrin teamed up with VR software company 8i on March 14 to present Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars, an educational potential to the new technology. Aldrin stated that, “While the moon landing was a monumental achievement for humanity, there’s no greater mission than mankind’s journey to Mars,”.
While the project is still young, it opens up a lot of potential for communication. The project will allow the audience to experience first-hand what life on Mars can be like while listening to a projection of Buzz Aldrin himself. We will have to wait and see what comes about from this project, but the hopes are high that VR will be able to create new ways for next-generation astronauts to plan travel projects.
On a much more human scale, Rendever has been working on a way to help the elderly experience the outside world through virtual reality. While it sounds like an oxymoron, it appears to actually be helpful. The program would allow for senior citizens to go about doing normal day-to-day tasks, while also allowing them to see many landmarks the world has to offer.
Through these simplicity, caretakers will be able to spot early signs of dementia and other age-related mental disabilities.
At the end of the day, what we can take from all this is that virtual reality based technology does not stop at the gaming screen. While we may put on a headset and transport ourselves to others world, the potential advancement that society will gain from VR comes much in the way of communication. Virtual reality will allow us to find new theories and make new discoveries faster than we could five years ago.