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Virtual reality or how deep is the rabbit hole?

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Do you know Robert Nozick's Experience Machine thought experiment? In it, we have to imagine that someone will offer us the opportunity to spend the rest of our lives in an experience machine. This "golden machine" will fulfill all your wishes. It will meet all your needs. Would you like to join the experience machine?

Nozick expects us to turn down this offer. He even stated that if we joined the experience machine, we would commit some kind of suicide. Because people want more than hedonistic pleasures in life and value contact with other people. By connecting to a machine, we would gain a lot, but we would give up the opportunity to do something valuable for society, do good for others, and so on. If you have a different view than Nozick and the illusion is enough for you, try virtual reality.

In the blog you will learn:

  • Why to choose propper VR headset before phone VR.

  • What kind of VR herdwear to get.

  • What can you experience in VR.

  • Does augmented reality have an edge over VR?

  • How does VR affect our actions in real life.

  • What impact VR can have on society.

How to get there

All you need is your body and VR goggles with 3D sensors. No cardboard contraption where you put a (however borderlessly perfect) smartphone and watch youtube videos of animals with it - if you want to really find out what virtual reality is, don't use your phone. Only passive VR, a two-dimensional image converted to 3D, will be provided to you. With information virtuality (Cardboard, Oculus Go) you have limited interaction. The feeling that you are somewhere else is disappearing over time.

But if you want to try it in despite our warnings, try at least a plastic headset for a mobile VR (you don't have to hold it in your hands all the time). If you have Samsung, a special Samsung Gear VR headset is also available for it (let's call it the advanced stage of mobile VR).

Also VR headset Google Daydream View offers a more comfortable experience (there are several versions to choose from, you can choose the one that just goes with your sweatpants).

VR headset Google Daydream View

Then just download one of the available applications and you can watch the series or movie, for example here:

Netflix VR

If you want to be engrossed in film, there is a lot to choose from. Netflix offers a holiday chalet in the Swiss Alps with mountain views. SkyBox has multiple environments (including a space station). Readable VR content from the New York Times or J. K. Rowling is also available. And (not only) on Google, they also thought of sports fans and players.

Affordable high VR experience

For a start, the Oculus quest (or, if you like, the Meta quest) will suffice. It works wirelessly, so you don't get tangled up in the cables while playing. Oculus Quest works independently, you don't even need a computer and setup is very quick and easy. The package also includes intuitive touch controls. And if you have a powerful computer, you can connect it to the glasses, or even stream it through open source software. So you have the choice of plugging the headset into your computer or using the headset's built-in processor and playing wirelessly..

Oculus Guardian

Quest uses the Oculus Guardian feature, which provides a safe place to play. Use the controls to define the boundaries of the protection system, which will then appear in the VR each time you approach the edges..

Besides Questu there are also Valve index, HTC Vive, Playstation VR etc.

Valve index

What am I going to do there?

Since this is a complete replacement for the world around you, you can do anything there. You can try VR fitness, or, more accurately, "absorbing fitness". In 2022, there will be an Active Pack for Quest 2 with a better face interface that will even allow you to wipe your sweat.

VR fitness Supernatural gaming platorm

Even in Google Earth, everything is within reach with Google Earth VR. If the project from the Teleexistence workshop proves successful, you will be able to find yourself in a different placer in real time. You should be able to interact with a remote environment that can be real (using a robot), virtual, or a combination of both.

Robot Model-T by Teleexistence.

Source: Teleexistence

With the NeuroTrainer program you can improve your concentration, spatial vision, etc. What future for the CoR awaits the real estate market? Correct, virtual inspections before buying real estate will probably be a common practice.

The developers have even created games to overcome various phobias (aviaphobia, arachnophobia, etc.). With the connection of virtual reality with Microsoft 365 or Adobe, a new dimension will open up in your creation. Thanks to 360-degree videos, you have the opportunity to "experience" some moments of life once again. Alternatively, you can enjoy the experience from the perspective of your friends. With applications such as vTime XR You can meet your friends in the virtual world..

So what about gaming ? In VR, you can look around. Shocking, right? Because VR also captures the movements of your head and body, the interaction with the environment is more authentic and the game can engulf you even more. Most games are still offered by desktop VR, which also provides an adequate experience. If you like Norse mythology, you can try Asgard's Wrath. If you want to get a little moving, try Beat Saber, at Driveclub VR, the burnt tires of the most powerful cars in the world are waiting for you. In Star Wars: Squadrons, you may find yourself in the cockpit of a rebel X-Wing or an Empire fighter.

Star Wars: Squadrons

The list is long, you will certainly find what suits you.

In addition to the entertainment and gaming industries, VR applications can be used for science and research, creative work, the creative industry, design, art or architecture. VR does not exclude education either (Even in Slovakia, some medical schools use the Human Anatomy application of the In addition to the entertainment, entertainment and gaming industries, VR applications can be used for science and research, creative work, the creative industry, design, art or architecture. The CoR does not bypass education either (Even in Slovakia, some medical schools use the VR Human Anatomy application learn). And if someone wants to chat with you, you don't even have to put your headset down. There is also a VR messenger in Oculus.

In addition to virtual reality, we should also mention augmented reality (AR), which differs from VR a lot. After immersing yourself in virtual reality, you will be surrounded by a computer-generated world and your senses will receive input from simulated machines. In augmented reality, digital objects move into the real (physical) world around us. So AR does not hinder our perception or contact with other people. We can even keep eye contact with humans (and catch Pokémon).

Zdroj: Medium

Illusion as a tool

The mass monitoring and Bio-data that the companies have collected about us will be even more comprehensive with VR and AR. In addition to the technological challenge, bio-data collection also brings legal and political challenges.

Virtual reality opens up the opportunity for psychological manipulation and immersion in the virtual world can cause behavioral changes that occur after you leave the virtual environment - what we do in VR changes our behavior in reality. So the virtual world has an impact on our real lives. According to experiments, it was enough for people to spend ten minutes in the virtual world and it would affected their behavior.

You are like, "I know it's not really." Yes, but our body and mind react as if it really were. Researchers at Johannes Guttenberg University have even drawn up a list of ethical concerns arising from the use of VR. Michael Madary and Thomas Metzinger added to the list specific recommendations for risk minimization (far beyond the risks of existing media technologies).

In her book Virtual Reality, Lucia Mendel writes about VR and AR as media that use affect, the "missing half-second". The time between our reflex and conscious reaction (when information reaches our brain and is processed). This is a gap is an opening to manipulation.

Source: Absynt

It is important to address the risks of immersive media today as they will change our world soon. Not to mention the privacy we already have a problem with.

When you buy Oculus, you must give your consent that Facebook will record the location of your body and pupils. VR needs to track where you are looking, track your movements (so it can animate you), record the position of every part of your body. It can also monitor your emotions and mental state.

What you are looking at can now be calculated from the data on the orientation of the head and the position of your eyes. Facebook even offers a heatmap for every 360 ° published video (over 50,000 views). For example, the temperature map above shows that feed ads attract the views of up to 92 percent of users.

Source: EyeTrackShop

If you are interested in VR (or it is still not clear to you why Facebook was bought by Oculus) and also the potential of immersive media to affect our unconscious mechanisms, read the aforementioned book by software developer Lucie Mendel, which we highly recommend.


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