Until now, we have associated virtual and augmented reality technologies with the entertainment industry - the Pokemon Go game, that was a real revolution, or the paraglider simulators using VR. However, virtual reality is gradually being used more and more, including the media. What has been already done and what are the prospects?
- VR and AR: technology that opens up new horizons
Virtual reality (VR) is a space modeled using computer technology. Entering the world of VR, the user loses touch with reality for a while and plunges into the “parallel universe” using special devices. If a few years ago, driving simulators were the teenagers’ favorite pastime, today an advanced VR headset can make you forget where you are and what day of the week it is. Augmented reality (AR, augmented reality) does not transfer us to fictional worlds - instead, it embellishes the reality surrounding us, adding non-existent, virtual elements to it.
Despite the fact that these technologies originate in the entertainment industry, today they are already beginning to be applied in other areas - education, healthcare, industry, russian dating, psychology. In 2016, for the first time in the world, students at London medical universities were able to observe the operation that surgeons at the Royal London Hospital broadcasted in real-time. Each such example becomes a real sensation, reminding us of the concept that the founder and president of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab talk about when claiming about the upcoming fourth industrial revolution.
- VR and AR in the media world: from storytelling to story living
The promising potential of virtual reality technology is particularly relevant in the media field. The pioneer here was journalist Nonny de la Peña, a former Newsweek reporter and author of The New York Times. She made her debut at the Sundance Film Festival with the «Hunger in Los Angeles» reportage, the first VR story in the world. With the help of virtual reality glasses, spectators were transferred to the queue for food in the United States, and they had to see how an elderly man standing in front of them falls unconscious due to health problems.
The phenomenon of immersion, that is, the creation of an atmosphere of observing the scene with your own eyes is of great interest to the public today. An immersive theater in which the viewer lives life together with the heroes, immersive lectures at which you can not only listen about life in the Middle Ages, but also hear and feel the smells of it, immersive city tours, and now immersive journalism. The modern consumer wants not to just find out - he wants to feel. His status changes: he turns from an outside observer into an active participant.
A classic news story tells the viewer what happened. The plot in VR format is able to immerse him in what is happening - the viewer passes what he saw through himself, becomes part of it. And this is the future of the entertainment and media industries. Very soon, all films, games and news reports will be told using VR and AR, so that every person lives through the story. Will this interfere with people's desire to live in the real world then? Well, the future is exciting but the time will show.