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VR: An Open Learning Platform of the Future

Posted By: Joe Barker

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It is apparent, since the acquisition of gaming firm Oculus VR from Facebook for a whopping $2bn, that the future lies in virtual reality technology. Some argue that Mark Zuckerberg is purely buying potential, but huge investment requires significant faith. 

So, what do we already know of the technology that is said to revolutionise the art of communication? When I think of VR cult classics such as TRON and The Matrix spring to mind – although I highly doubt that any Agent Smiths are likely to be incorporated into Oculus’s software. These films helped to encapsulate a world of what future technological advancements could achieve.

During the 1980s virtual reality was a fascinating subject and was heavily emphasised as the ‘next big thing’. Yet, just like a fashion trend, it seemed to die out and not materialise into a fully functional device available for mass consumption. Such technology that previously appeared to be a mere distant dream looks set for a key part to play in future business prospects.

There are various avenues that VR can go down. The gaming industry for instance are likely to utilise the equipment, already operating motion sensitivity gaming with Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii. That being said, with its 360 degree capabilities, it is hard to imagine that a wide variety of businesses or education sector will not begin to take notice. Imagine going to a history class knowing that the day’s lesson included being taken on a guided tour of the Titanic. Why read up on a boring, jargon filled textbook when you can physically explore a chosen subject?

Early stages of the VR headgear showcased a stolen pair of glasses from an X-Men member's wardrobe. Not the most fashionable attire but do we really care about appearnaces when we can experience something as visually stunning and engaging as VR?

Many of you have perhaps experienced some sort of VR in the form of a simulator. Theme parks are where you are likely to find such contraptions. Who recalls flight simulators where you take control of an airplane and learn how to fly? This may be a fun short term fix but it only touches base with what virtual reality can do.

There may be those who are sceptical about the abilities of VR and believe it to be too great a risk to take. However, if you are anything like me, VR really presents an exciting future that can be beneficial for numerous industries. We may have to wait a decade or so to witness this revolution but good things come to those who wait. 



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