How Advances in Virtual Reality Technology Can Help Reshape Actual Reality

By Beecher Tuttle April 13, 2011

The concept of virtual reality is no longer a pipe dream. In fact, this emerging technology has progressed beyond entertainment mediums – like 3D movies and video games – and has slowly become a significant part of our everyday lives.

In their new book, titled "Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution," authors Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson take an introspective look at how virtual reality is helping to reshape the way we look at ourselves and the manner in which we view others upon returning to actual reality.

As explained in the blog Big Think, the book details how physical and virtual reality will eventually blend into a hybrid state. The pair looks at the emergence of virtual reality both from a technological point of view and as psychologists.

"We are going to tell you how the technology works, where it is going in the future and exactly what happens in the brain when you are having a virtual experience compared to when you are having a physical one," noted Bailenson, founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. "This book is about how virtual reality affects the mind, and how it affects society."

Blascovich and Bailenson also discuss how 3-D conferences with avatars may soon become acceptable forms of communication in both academic and business settings. The psychologists told the New York Times that three consumer-based technological developments within the last year will eventually help avatar meetings go mainstream. These events include the launching of the Microsoft Kinect, the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS gaming console and the Watson computer's recent victory over human Jeopardy contestants.

"These three events have been paradigm-shifting for avatar conferences," Bailenson told the Times. "The technology is finally ready for the living room and the cubicle."

The authors believe that these technological advancements will eventually lead to virtual conference table meetings where people interact with each other via computer-generated avatars. Blascovich said that this technology could replace video conferences, which people tend not to like because they make them feel like they are contestants in "Hollywood Squares."

The book also takes a look at other examples of virtual reality, and how they are contributing to a change in culture.


Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.



Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why Blockchain Could Be a Gamechanger

By: Paula Bernier    1/22/2018

Blockchain has become closely associated with the controversial topic of cryptocurrency. And that's fine because blockchain is an enabling technology …

Read More

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More