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Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently bought the latest technological improvement which is called Oculus Rift. A virtual reality simulator developed independently and though crowd funding. Anyways, something else must have seen Zuckerberg apart from a feeling in this young company that has only 2 years of history. Although virtual reality devices are yet to be developed, this new acquisition promises to be part of our future lifestyle. Is this new device the future of technology?
This gadget is a head mounted display that started as a dream for Palmer Luckey. In order to create it, a crowd funding project was created which quickly got a high number of participants raising the amount of US$2, 5 million in the website KikStarter (2014), this was the beginning of Oculus Rift. Recently, this company has been bought by Facebook and as Mark Zuckerberg says in his acquisition post (2014), Oculus VR is the leader in virtual technology. A complete immersion occurs in a computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. Furthermore, he explains the feeling of being in another place, in this virtual created location. This technology seems to have a really promising future, providing the ability of simulating situations, locations or people, giving huge possibilities for the future developers.
One of the countless possibilities that Oculus has is clinical development use. This device will be able to create virtual simulations that can recreate places needed for testing or training that otherwise would be too hard to recreate in real life as said by Rizzo, A (2006). This provides the possibility of creating specific situations for each patient, with no physical limitations and with a realistic environment in which performance can be tested. This does not only mean a virtual situation that need to be solved, it can also involve a challenge where real world behaviour is needed.
Oculus Rift could also be used to test prototypes during the design process. This enables companies to create various models of the same product and test it without the need of creating physical products. This prototypes can not only be products, they can also be workers and it can be analysed ways of upgrading their performance without any added risks. This was analysed by Di Pardo, M. (2007) who admits that virtual reality devices will be able to qualify the quality of the postures assumed during the working activity and will help to design a new layout to ensure the feasibility and efficiency of the operation. This will provide all the information needed to avoid accidents in the workspace and to increase the productivity.
But as in any other project, there are people that are sceptical. This product is always seen as huge step for the gaming industry but no one sees the countless possibilities it provides outside the gaming bubble. Furthermore, the fact that gear is needed in order to be part of the experience can make Oculus a failure. 3D TVs were supposed to be a revolutionary development but this fact may have been part of the small impact that this type of TVs have had. Oculus can face the same problem, the gear that is needed is even bigger than the 3d glasses, meaning that general consumers could have problems with this new technology.
Certainly, Oculus Rift can be the future of our technology. Mark Zuckerberg had a great vision when he created Facebook and this new acquisition does not seem to be taking the wrong path. Innovations like this happen only once in a while and they should not be ignored. Virtual reality can be the next big step for technology like smartphones have been to the present time. The immense possibilities that virtual reality can provide and the ones that are yet to be discovered will be huge deal in the technology of the future.
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