We often talk about the negative effects that technological advances have on our lives, but we must not forget the benefits that bring us. The "good side" of virtual reality could be likened to the positive effects observed with the advent of Pokemon GO, which for example encouraged people with disabilities to walk or move, but not only.
Different virtual reality applications have been developed that are able to help socialization and people with autism, to cure panic attacks, or to manage pain through the treatment of distraction. With the virtual reality, we will also be able to carry out tests on the cars in order to no longer doubt the model to buy, or even to plan his holidays by having a glimpse of the landscapes that we like the most. Before continuing reading this article, keep in mind the potential inherent in this new technology.
Short term effects
The first time journalists got their hands on these devices, in addition to expressing their amazement, many also spoke of the unusual feelings they felt after a gaming session. For example, our colleague Hans-Georg, in his helmet test DayDream had written that he had had "the feeling of wanting to run away from the virtual world" because he felt a "very unpleasant feeling in the eyes and the whole body."
Even my former colleague Daria Lombardi, trying the Gear VR for the first time, had noted that "the 318 grams of the headset added to the 157 grams of Galaxy S7 edge are felt after 20 minutes of use", so what was the advice of "do not not use the headset for too long to avoid headaches and stiff necks. "
The instructions that accompany the helmets also warn users. In the Gear VR, we can read that it is necessary to "take a break of 10/15 minutes every 30 minutes of play, even if we do not feel the need" and not to use the devices "when the 'we are tired, stress, enrhum, migraine', and the list is extended by a few lines.
It is well known that the instructions for use do not recommend anything, but it seems that in the case of VR headphones, the side effects experienced are recurrent. Mrs Olusus, made in Zuckerberg, for example, refers to the need to pay attention to driving cars, motorcycles or any other motorized vehicle to people who feel a little weird after a game session with the virtual helmet. It is said that among the most common virtual post-reality symptoms appear a feeling of extreme complacency and a reduction in multitasking ability. You must be careful because these symptoms can expose you to a higher risk of damage in ordinary activities in the real world. In short, we feel dizzy, stunned by the real world because we have been too long in virtual reality.
Why do we feel so bad?
Leaving the possibility of stumbling on son, banging your head against a wall or getting caught in a shoe that hangs on the ground, the problems can come from elsewhere. It is natural to think that having your eyes closed and locked in a helmet can cause unwanted effects. But why ?
Some scientists, for example, have noticed that our eyes, in a virtual reality headset, always focus on a fixed point even if the objects appear both near and far. This can cause a conflict of visual convergence, ie a reduction of the convergence reflex and the development of both eyes.
Or, if we find ourselves in a game of speed, the ear and the labyrinth, which contains the receivers of balance, will not perceive this movement because in reality we are stuck in our chair. Feelings of numbness, loneliness and nauses begin to be felt. Would you like to know the latest tech gadgets (who are always trying to anticipate our needs) who will be attending the CES in Las Vegas? An anti-break bracelet not only used by pregnant women, by boat or car, but also after long sessions of play in virtual reality.
Long term effects
If one thinks about virtual reality, it could be far more intrusive, and therefore effective, than old communication media like television. Experiences similar to real life are no longer seen only, but live in person the first person. But we have overcome the problems that VR can cause in the short term and we will now turn to those that can cause in the long term.
Thinking about the long-term effects came to mind the famous Air Action Vigorsol ad: A long lasting fragrance. Once swallowed, the virtual reality will accompany you everywhere in your subconscious choices but not only. Jeremy Bailenson, founder and director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, conducted a study to test medium and long-term effects (positive or negative from perspective) on people who used virtual reality.
The test: wear a VR helmet and cut a tree that is in a nice place full of birds chirping, then hear the thud of the fallen tree, and the songs will stop. Result: a more refined use of hyginic paper. Bailenson also said that after a month, he continued to receive emails from people who were still thinking of the deafening noise of the fall of this tree.
Even more convincing TV
"Dici 10 years, instead of watching the news, people could experience the first person's events," said Bailenson. The idea of getting even closer to what is happening in the world might be curious, but could also scare many of us. We need to take a step back and think of it as a natural evolution of what is around us now. The advent of television, even though it has not been personally experienced by many of our readers, and its invasion have also generated fear, like all disruptive changes. The filming of the Vietnam War, for example, showed for the first time the absolute cruelty of a war on the small screen, then in the eyes of the general public. What will happen with virtual reality?
Reality can clearly be used for information (or information), to hide from reality, to distract oneself, to control pain, to discover distant places with broad visual experience or, why not, relive past, private events or not. Citing Bailenson: "A technology of this magnitude is like uranium: it can heat the house but also destroy the world."
So, after having the advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality, there is only one thing left to say: the good use of these new thundering devices is in our hands.
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