Preview: Virtual Reality – The Apocalyptic Scenario Meet Up
Meet ups at SXSW are a way to make connections and talk with like-minded Interactive attendees. At the Virtual Reality: The Apocalyptic Scenario Meet Up, Jeremy Dalton, Digital and Emerging Technologies Consultant, wants to meet people that want to talk VR – the good, the bad and the doomsday ugly. The meet up session will look at the factual and fictional arguments against virtual reality.
What is the Apocalyptic Scenario meet up all about?
“I want [the meet up] to be an open discussion. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, I’m definitely an evangelist of virtual reality and I’m promoting it as much as I can to whoever will listen. But I think it’s also important to look at the other side of VR, the darker side of VR, because it’s coming up a lot in the press. When [VR] really hits mainstream and hits the mass media and everyone is using it, it’s going to be attacked. This [meet up] is a way of gathering together, brainstorming about where it could take us in a negative way – just so that we’re prepared for that argument when it does happen, and so we’re having a conversation about it. I’ll be talking about topics that have come up in the past around virtual reality, studies that have been done on VR and the use of VR.”
Is an apocalyptic scenario really possible? What are the fears?
“There is a fear of too many people using virtual reality and neglecting the real world. What happens when humans prefer to interact and to be in the virtual world because they can be and do anything in that world? Whereas their real life might not be as exciting, as interesting, or they even just find it a bit of a drag being in the real world.”
Do you see VR being a risk in the future of online dating?
“I don’t think the risks are any greater in the virtual world. You could have a dating platform in VR, but you’d still be represented by an avatar. You’d still be interacting with an image you build around yourself, which you can already manipulate online without virtual reality. I’d say the risks are pretty similar.”
What about the good aspects of VR?
“There are many and many good aspects. What amazes me about virtual reality is the fact that we now have the ability to be architects of new worlds. To actually go out there, build something new, and for the first time in modern human history, be a Christopher Columbus of the virtual world. We can be there, we can start exploring these new worlds, we can create them, we can socialize in them, we can interact in them. It’s just a new adventure for humanity and that’s an absolutely amazing and powerful thing.”
What’s the future of VR for business?
“When virtual reality really catches on, we’ll see companies like PwC advising clients on how they could use VR to engage with customers, to improve their business processes, and use that [consultancy] to improve how they go about business. There are a number of applications for virtual reality. In the health care world you can use VR to simulate surgeries and treat PTSD and phobias. You can use virtual reality to relax in and have ‘staycations.’ You can use it in manufacturing to get a better idea of how a model looks. You can use it in the automotive industry and have a virtual reality showroom. You can bring in any car that company makes and has ever made and completely customize it to your liking. [Virtual reality] is a much more immersive and exciting means and medium of consumers interacting with products and services.”
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