Will virtual reality take off?

While virtual reality (VR) has long promised new innovations in both mainstream and technological circles, its existence and publicity for decades. Imagine trying to make any other technology as ubiquitous as, for example, a smartphone or 4K TV, when it's so difficult to use without looking like you just got out of bed. The fact that we hear about hair and makeup so infrequently isn't evidence that it doesn't exist, it's evidence that many people in the VR community don't have a clear vision of what mainstream acceptance really looks like, or what it will take to achieve it. Despite advances over the past four years, virtual reality as a mass entertainment medium still seems to be a long way off.

What does it take to change that? Yes, it will only take several years. The main question is the state of the technology itself, as well as its cost of ownership. You can meet people in virtual worlds and do all kinds of real and impossible activities with realistic avatars that will make you feel like you are literally together. Like the SQUID recordings of Strange Days, braindances allow users to immerse themselves in the experiences and sensations of others by putting on virtual reality headsets and reliving recorded memories preserved and transmitted through the five senses.

Throughout the years of studying and participating in virtual reality, a few things must happen before this futuristic technology finally enters the present. VR is better than it's ever been, or at least a few years away from general acceptance, depending on who you ask. To link it to games, you can play by far the most immersive multimedia experiences that will blur the lines between reality and virtual reality in a very convincing way. You can do office work anywhere in the world or attend virtual schools that surpass the real ones with daily excursions to ancient Greece or the limits of the solar system.

In the midst of closures, furniture, clothing and jewelry stores have introduced AR tools that allow customers to buy and “try on products virtually”. The public will understand the RA mental health nightmare the moment a virtual political candidate enters someone's house, stands in front of the television and doesn't leave until the speech he paid Facebook for ends in living rooms around the world. It is these characteristics an effortless flow from reality to the virtual world and vice versa, a lack of pressure on the face and hair, and the faith that technology is ultimately “good enough to fit in with the life of someone who is currently missing”. Companies like Facebook are working on programs that will allow you to share virtual reality with your friends, but it's hard to see why that could beat something like FaceTime or just regular video calls.

But when it comes to VR, you can be sitting with someone in the same room that's in VR and it feels like you're a long way away. And it's not as versatile as a phone, a VR headset is just for VR experiences. And spending too much time in VR can be disorienting, so wearing the headset for more than half an hour can cause your head to spin when you take it off.