How the future means we’ll never leave our homes

One of the most exciting developments for recent technology has been the focus on virtual as well as augmented reality. This new form of engagement with the world is actually quite an old idea, though, until now, the technology and accessibility has not really been in place. The implications for it, if both become widely accepted as cellphones, could have dramatic effects on how we operate as a society.

Already, people are able to “move” around the world and interact meaningfully with their environment. As CNN reports:

“[Marriott, the global hotel chain, is using] new technology that can place people in exotic virtual settings almost anywhere on the planet.

…guests sample virtual destinations with the Oculus Rift, a headset whose high-definition, 3-D display immerses wearers in a lifelike interactive world.”

The travel industry is particularly interested, since it means providing a potent taste to customers. This could entice them to travel the whole way and experience it in real life, as opposed to virtually.

This could mean dramatic changes for the home. For example, getting the right kind of seats, tables, and chairs and general lounge suites could be best for comfort and, perhaps, for movement. Or perhaps enclosing a space just for that, as one company did.

“Virtuix was showing off its omnidirectional “treadmill” at CES, which allows you to travel around in 360 degrees without leaving a four-foot-square area.”

These are the kinds of considerations we’ll need if we start to adopt virtual reality into our lives. Indeed, we can even use the tech itself to help us purchase furniture. As Technology Review reports:

“Vizera Labs [imagines] a future where brick-and-mortar stores could be replaced by smaller, cheaper, simpler spaces whose expensive physical inventory is replaced by virtual designs that can be projected onto just a few floor models.

“While it could allow companies to open smaller stores, it could also let customers get a better idea of how a pattern or color will look across a piece of furniture or the walls of a room.

Though it seems to be the realm of sci-fi, many have already and do experience these kinds of technology every day. Some are building it and improving it. Just like cellphones, it’s hard not to see this – considering the convenience and incredible application – become mainstream and widely used in everyday life.

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