Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The future for virtual reality: part six

Immanuel Kant 1724-1804
In my two-part series, Physics and metaphysics, I gave a quote from Immanuel Kant about all that we know as reality comes to us from our senses. These ideas are clearly from the mind of an Introverted Intuitive (Kant was an INTJ or an INTP, and I am an INFJ). The very idea of virtual reality could hardly have come from any other personality type. More outward-looking materialist types might have considerable difficulty with the idea of a subjective universe. You can find them, often, among modernists but never among postmodernists. In an extreme form, the materialist espouses scientism rather than science and tends to objectify even people. Such individuals might find virtual reality very disturbing. They might accuse people with such an interest as avoiding reality and they would never, ever, experience virtual reality for themselves.

Fortunately for virtual reality developers, these people are a very tiny minority and most people whether introvert or extravert find the subject very interesting. In fact, the extravert is more likely to be the one who can resolve the engineering problems of VR.

 The opportunities for virtual reality are limited only by the extent of our imagination and it goes far beyond gaming: already, it is being used to show houses and apartments in order to save wasting time in viewing too many properties. It is ideal for visiting museums and contemplating art works without being subjected to to the push and shove of too many tourists (a problem with viewing the Mona Lisa, my daughter, Jasmin, tells me). The British Museum is the latest to use virtual reality and that includes the immersive headset variety, not just panning around on a webpage. With virtual reality you can check out a vacation destination before you contact the travel agent, and the same services would be of great value to the novelists who want verisimilitude in their descriptions. Then there is advertising, military, scientific, medical, psychological... the list goes on. It could possibly find its way into all aspects of life and change the world.

I am very grateful to my son-in-law, Nigel, for giving me the opportunity to experience the cutting-edge of virtual reality and it was an experience I will not forget. Perhaps, next year, I will have the Oculus Rift at home. What could be more ideal for a Canadian winter than turning up the thermostat, and pouring a nice cold drink before donning the headset and visiting a tropical paradise somewhere? Of course, interacting with the locals in VR is beyond our technology at the moment, but that is not a big problem for an introvert!

This was the concluding episode in this series. I will come up with something very different for tomorrow's post.

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