By TingHsuan(Rose) Kuo
Photo Credit: Virtual Reality Society
It is still crazy to me to think about how fast technology has advanced in the past few years. As a millennial, the growth speed of technology is still beyond my imagination and feels like my brain has to play catch up sometimes just to adapt to the newest gadget that’s in the market. When I first found out about virtual reality on Facebook about three years ago, a video feed shared by my friend, was talking about how it could better the video game player’s experience. Since then, I always connected video games and virtual reality together. A year later, virtual reality started becoming compatible with television and smart phones. Just like that, a new piece of technology quickly became accessible to the public, and it’s weird to think about how long it took television.
Photo Credit: Game Spot
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, bought Oculus (a virtual reality company) for $2 billion about three years ago and was planning to invest in $3 billion more just for the development of virtual reality. Just a few days ago, Mr. Zukerberg and his partner Mr. Barra, just released a picture of them together in VR even they were physically apart. I began to wonder how fast this will become available and change the way we communicate with each other. Reality or not, this is transmitting an image of yourself in real time. Almost seven years ago, when I first came to the United States, I remember I had to purchase international minutes from a company and dial a long country code just to talk to my friends and family in Taiwan. Then skype came along, as well as communication apps like Line. Without question, I quickly came to adapt the idea of contacting anyone anywhere in the world at just a finger click away.
I realized I can never go back to calling someone with just dialing their number on my phone or chatting to my family abroad without video chat. For some of us, it does make distance shorter; for some of us, we push away the ones that’s closest to us because we are so focused on what’s happening on the internet. Some believe that virtual reality could introduce a whole new level of intimacy to human kind, and putting oneself in the experience of another. Virtual reality brings boundless possibilities, but one will stop to wonder if it’s really that great for human kind. The real Experience is no longer limited to in-person and now you can see a particular place through Facebook’s 360 video. If virtual reality took over the world we know now, do we still go out and experience the crowd in a busy area without physically being there? Just like in an episode of Black Mirror on Netflix, everything you need is on a screen, in a room, where there is no true interaction. It has become harder to judge what’s real and what’s not. But then again, if we don’t learn to adapt, technology could potentially take over our world, and that’s pretty scary to think about.
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