Not long ago VR was a new trend that digital experts were raving about but was otherwise relatively unknown. Now, however, VR has crept into our daily lives and started impacting how we interact with each other. Recently VR has started to influence two key pillars within society: education and retail. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Will this continue to drive us down the road of less physical social interaction as many are afraid of?
Last week eBay teamed up with Myer (an Australian department store) to launch a VR shop. The shop can be accessed through existing headsets like Samsung Gear VR and eBay have also given away 20,000 Google Cardboards which they have called ‘Shopticals’. All products are from Myer and the top 100 items in each category are displayed on 3D models. The stand out feature of the shop though is ‘Sight Search’ which allows users to choose items by staring at them for a few seconds. Users can also stare at the ‘Add to Basket’ button to add items to their shopping basket. The only thing that you can’t do through VR is pay which still has to be done manually.
Is eBay’s VR shop a good or a bad thing? Arguably this approach within the retail sector could help solve the high streets supposed ‘impending doom’ as it will encourage consumers to physically go into stores rather than shop online. However will all consumers welcome the VR experience? Some may not feel safe using technology and others are skeptical of technology’s further involvement in our lives.
Within the education sector VR has generally been considered a positive thing and a potential tool to enhance learning. For example last week the BBC covered a school who are now using VR during classes to help children learn. In their History class children were transported to Egypt to learn about the pyramids and in Biology they studied underwater creatures all without leaving their seats. No one can deny that this is an amazing thing that gives children access to things they’ve never seen before. However will they still be as amazed by travelling and the new places and things they encounter? Perhaps not. They will have probably experienced the most incredible beaches and seen the wonders of the world before the end of secondary school.
VR is an exciting tool that will inevitably continue to evolve and eventually become instrumental to our daily lives. Many are still unsure as to whether or not this is a good thing as it poses a further risk of decreasing physical social interaction. However, on balance, l I think it provides us with a huge opportunity for learning which will ultimately be more beneficial to society as a whole (and it also means I can swim with dolphins whilst stuck on the tube).
The post The Rapidly Evolving World of VR appeared first on VCCP.