Virtual reality feels alive, it feels real. It's so real that every single event I give a demo (mostly Gear VR) at, there are a substantial amount of people who reach their hands out in front of them. These people are expecting to see their hands and have the ability to interact with the environment and objects surrounding them in their own little virtual, 3D world.
I had a very vivid dream right after OC3. In this dream I was flying, and it was a first person perspective. (A little side note- Flying is a huge interest of mine.) Needless to say, this dream brought me an immense amount of joy. However, my brain didn't make this dream up all on its own. While at OC3 I played Eagle Flight, a first person perspective game where the player is a hawk flying through Paris. After playing this amazing game a couple times, I became very smitten with it. The way this dream made me feel is exactly how it felt playing Eagle Flight.
Virtual reality is powerful. It influences our emotions in a huge way and has the potential to impact our lives, both positively and negatively. In the past few months I've heard discussions about how VR can potentially cause PTSD, but can potentially treat PTSD, too. Just let that sink in for a minute...
Something this powerful isn't only a new form of computing, it's a blending of reality and our wildest dreams becoming immersive, tangible worlds and experiences. As VR and AR technologies mature, this blending will become less noticeable and be a part of everyday life.
If we develop these technologies responsibly, they can help us become happier, healthier, and, most importantly, more empathetic people. Check out the links below to see how two of the most prominent companies in VR are doing just this: