When it comes to envisioning projects for the future, nothing competes with virtual reality. Models and 2D expressions of city planning, architectural designs, future travel, space exploration, and point-of-view empathy building are all most fit for virtual reality. For expensive and expansive projects, implementation can be hard to imagine, and impossible to interact with without virtual reality.
Virtual reality, to many, is a medium of the future. But it is actually here now. It will grow in its quality and affordability, but it is very much here. The most compelling thing about virtual reality is that it is a magnifying glass for us even deeper into the future.
To take us “there”; that is the purpose of virtual reality. Wherever “there” is, it is not always achievable with 2D or 3D. You are seeing it, but you are not part of it—until you live it in VR.
A Medium for Foresight
two examples of varying practicality
Example 1: Recently a NY based architectural firm put out a concept for the world’s tallest building—Analemma Tower—which would hang from an asteroid. Excuse me? An asteroid? No joke, here’s the link: Analemma Tower. They have 2D renderings of how this would look, floating high above the earth, more like a floating city than simply a “tower.”
I’m not sure how they would secure an asteroid in the first place, particularly of the right weight and shape from which to suspend this building, but I imagine the investors would want to see how that would be done. This would begin with sketches, concept art (some already available), long and thorough explanations, and perhaps a model. Virtual Reality envelopes all mediums, and would be the best way to see all aspects from construction to completion. To grasp the different environmental tiers of this massive structure, the investors and buyers would want to see, in virtual reality, how each segment would look and the view from each. They would want to see it from all angles. VR is the only medium that could allow financiers and government officials to comprehend such a far-out idea in all respects.
Example 2: Autonomous drone taxis. We would probably have to warm up to the idea of taking ride service drones from place to place by a computer, but boy would it be interesting and very science-fictionally pleasing. Here, neither a GoPro video of the inside of a prototype drone, nor pictures of the experience, could give a person the feeling of riding in the vehicle. Virtual reality would allow for massive user testing of autonomous drones by making the subject feel like they are actually there to see if they would be comfortable enough to purchase a ride in a ride service drone. This scenario would illuminate who might be willing to put their lives in the hands of unmanned flight technology with accuracy not possible with a simple survey.
Additionally, this would give investors an idea of in-drone entertainment and amenities for the customer, as well as flight time from A to B, height above the ground in various geographic environments, adjustments due to weather, and even emergency landing procedures.
Those who are scared to get into an autonomous drone taxi could even use guided meditation and anti-anxiety experiences available in a virtual reality headset onboard the drone as an amenity, using experiences like we have built for hospital networks to quell any fear and anxiety during their ride.
Rather than testing the considerations for such a revolutionary travel method through algorithms, surveys, and expensive physical projects, we can use VR to test hypotheses with almost all of the variables important to rider satisfaction and safety without spending a dime on construction.
Future VR Benefits in Other Areas
Entertainment: A previous blog post by our lead producer Greg Sullivan, discusses how storytelling will be changing as well, allowing people to partake in stories they would previously yearn to imagine themselves a part of, and not just as a 3rd person, but as a character.
Gaming: Gaming and group entertainment will allow friends and family members to spread across the globe and have shared moments together as multiplayer and shared experiences become more prevalent in VR. It can strengthen relationships. Air travel and communication have allowed many to travel far and wide across the world to pursue better lives and their dreams, but travelers must often leave loved ones. I know this. Most of my family live in other states and many of my friends are often conflicted by this same void. Virtual reality can help strengthen relationships across vast distances in much the same way as FaceTime and Skype have helped keep bonds strong via video.
Medical: New medical technologies can be envisioned with virtual reality and, as in Studio Transcendent's current projects, can provide relief and wellness to patients.
Productivity: Tools and teaching will be widely available through virtual reality, increasing productivity from ideation to training.
Virtual Reality: In all likelihood, virtual reality will likely be built...within virtual and augmented reality in the years to come.
VR is going to help us become smarter and more caring, make technology and communication more tangible, and probably do a lot more than we can conceive of right now.
This will be fun to watch—through our VR goggles.
—Bowdy Brown, Director of Sales