Why should I use Virtual Reality in real life?

A lot of businesses and individuals are using VR like a force fit usage in so many things in daily life where it may not be required.

e.g. VR roller coaster rides and Fitness gym (syncing VR and your body motion to project VR on eyes), VR cinema (where you actually see a 2D flat screen inside the VR cinema app), VR social (social interaction using avatars in VR)

Is it like a magic which I experience and then keep it away? Or is it an essential device like my Phone which I keep on using in my daily life?

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    What exactly is your question? Are you seeking some element of usability within the VR realm, or are you just asking our opinion on if you should buy your groceries from a VR store? Jun 1 '16 at 5:20
  • Hey my question is regarding the thought of usage of VR in daily life. Whether it is something that is used and is kept away? Or is it a necessary device like my smartphone which I keep on using in my daily life? Jun 1 '16 at 6:31
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    I have framed the title accordingly for a better representation of what you are primarily asking. Jun 1 '16 at 6:54
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    Plenty of people like travellogues much more than travelling. I don't see why VR would be any different :) Does it make sense to use VR for shopping? Not for me, definitely - I take no pleasure in walking through a shopping mall, that's why I use e-shops wherever applicable. If walking through the aisles is fun for you, VR walking through the aisles might be as well - it depends on what exactly makes the prospect attractive to you, individually. I don't care about 360° in a cinema - if you do, sure, use VR to simulate that. This is simply about individual preferences and ease of use.
    – Luaan
    Jun 1 '16 at 9:25

I would not recommend using VR to simulate your daily life activities.

Let me reflect my experience with VR so far.

I have so far had 3 VR Headsets (Can't call them headsets to be honest, since they are all Google Cardboards) and I have also used an Oculus Rift.

Each one of these, I must have used maximum for 5 days. They are based upon constant head tracking and movement which makes it less relaxing than to watch something on a monitor.

Although my usage of VR has been fairly limited to new experiences and apps being released, it feels great for that period but not as something you could retain a user in.

For example, due to the constant head tracking and other things involved, it's a tiresome experience at times and this means that your app/game/simulation in VR should not extend a time limit.

It is also detrimental to your eyes staring at a screen with a distance of around 5 cms between your eyes and the screen itself.

ideal viewing distance

The reason of continuous enjoyment while playing a game or simulation on a desktop or console is the relaxing involved and the ability to actually do something else while at it. For example, eating a pizza.

With VR, the freedom is taken away from you to only concentrate on the content which can get pretty saturating.

And although most experiences such as Rollercoasters, etc have been simulated on VR, they don't really provide the accurate representation of the real life scenario because you know it's not real.

I would not recommend you to constantly use VR to get used to your life. So far, it's a gimmick which will probably end up at the corner of the shelf. There are developments to come and VR needs hardware development especially due to the lack of freedom with the current gen of headsets.

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    HoloLens is an application of AR, not VR. Jun 1 '16 at 8:04
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    HoloLens is Augmented Reality which is a bit different. You see the everything in your environment and the headset just augments your view with useful graphics. However, Microsoft have marketed its HoloLens like it can do what AR is supposed to do, but in reality there are no real evindces. They have prepared a bunch of demos and try market themsefls as they've developed a full system. I think we need 2-3 years before we can see a good working AR system. Jun 1 '16 at 8:33
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    I second @KristiyanLukanov for the views about current technology. "Meta 2" is a similar technology. If anyone has seen it! Jun 1 '16 at 8:42
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    I don't think you can just take "recommendations for screen distance in an office" and apply it to a VR headset. Are you sitting 60cm away from the screen in a cinema? Sure, it's a bit different, but so is VR - the screen is just a few cm from your eyes, but that isn't where your eyes are focusing, which is the thing that matters for eye comfort (as far as we can tell now). After all, my glasses surely don't make "seeing" less comfortable just because they're a centimeter from my eyes - I'm not focusing on the glasses, I'm focusing into distance, just like with (modern) VR.
    – Luaan
    Jun 1 '16 at 9:20
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    @Luaan I wasn't referring to comfort when I wrote about the ideal distance of viewing. I was merely referring to the aspect that it can lead to more eye strain to be strapped to a headset with a screen inside that's 5-7 cms away from you. This is a considerable argument if the question is to find a replacement for a real life scenario. Jun 2 '16 at 16:15

Maybe it can be some sort of substitute as the field of VR Therapy makes advances. ( See TechCrunch or WSJ for example.)

However, often VR is not a substitute for real life experience but an augmentation of actual experiences, i.e. AR, not VR.

My answer can only be opinion based (although I did work in VR during its first uprising in the 90's) and I believe AR will become the more common place experience, while VR in its current form with headsets etc is an ugly path for an infant technology that is en route to something that will merge with AR to form various levels of experience from personal aids to easy access to an almost addictive escapism. (And consequently the social and mental issues that come with that)

So while I don't think VR will become a substitute for real life experiences for the masses, I do believe AR will start to regularly enhance real life itself for the masses.

  • I guess VR therapy needs a lot of research in order to conclude that it is actually helpful in behavioural training or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which the military has been doing in the US. I have also heard quite a lot about its use in Autism affected children and making them more sociable. Jun 1 '16 at 8:36
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    Please view the link for the above mentioned subject: autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/… Jun 2 '16 at 7:31

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