Virtual Reality Entering Daily Life


Anna Adams, Staff Writer/ Editor

From BlackBerry to Amazon Alexa, the types of technology we use on a daily basis has certainly made quite the evolution. After the introduction of COVID-19, the normalization of quarantine and isolation has opened up ample opportunities for a new technological platform to thrive: virtual reality.

“We’re in a world where people several times per day send out an image reflecting themselves,” said Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist with great interest in the metaverse. “The next phase takes that visual representation and dimensionalized it. You go into an environment and express yourself through an avatar.” 

As the second year of quarantine passed, digitally-conducted sales increased and multiple companies- such as Apple, Microsoft, or Meta (previously known as Facebook)- became more involved with virtual reality products.

“VR can bring the outdoors to people who are confined to their own spaces or have mobility issues,” said Majd Alwan, the senior vice president of technology and business strategy at LeadingAge. During the pandemic, virtual reality became a much more practical option for entertainment in quarantine since public outings were restricted.

“It’s just sort of fostering something new, and I’ve found VR very helpful for folks who had trouble communicating,” Amy Casillas said, the associate life director of Atria Senior Living. “They can take a walk on the beach or just sit by the sea.”

Aside from entertainment, virtual reality can be used for therapeutic purposes with limited physical exposure to other people. In fact, virtual reality organizations have even formed specifically to help aging or elderly citizens, such as LeadingAge or MyndVR.

“It was beautiful, much better than a movie,” 85-year-old Mary Ann Breen said after using virtual reality to walk in Paris, France. “I want to go back!”

Therapy and entertainment are not the only uses of virtual reality, though. Lab technicians in the United Kingdom are using this technology to improve the COVID testing industry and to improve the economy. They also hope to integrate the technology into schools to get children interested in STEM subjects.

From entertainment to education, virtual reality has a wide range of uses. Spreading quickly, it may soon become a part of our daily routines- and even our classrooms.



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