Published on November 11th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan


What the Virtual World holds for Tomorrow’s Society

Communication and the written word has been the key driver of civilization in the human race, and what sets us apart from other primates and species. The power it gave man to record information, pass it on to others and future generations meant the accumulation of knowledge. So, things wouldn’t have to be learned from scratch, and ideas could be shared. And they allowed for storytelling and human interaction at many levels.

Undoubtedly this led to major industrial breakthroughs and technological advances including the internet. The internet gave society a way to reach across geographical boundaries, so one person in the US could talk to someone in Japan via text chat, voice, video and now through the virtual world.

What does a virtual world behold?

A virtual world has to have 2 properties, first is generated by a computer and secondly permanence or persistence i.e it must continue to be active whether the user is present or not. Gaming saw virtual worlds stretch the realms of their interaction. Games like World of Warcraft, Fortnight have appealed to millions and given them virtual environments to compete, socialize and chat from the comfort of their favorite gaming chair.

And technology for virtual worlds has spawned gadgets such as virtual headsets that are fully immersive with real-time controls so that the experience gets more and more life-like. The advancing computing power, memory and graphics cards mean that the animation and refresh rates are so real and quick that these simulations can start to fool even the biggest skeptic.

6 degrees of freedom means all the directions of human movement and developers use this as a target for their software and hardware development. By having wireless hardware so movement is not obstructed in any way, floors and treadmills that move in every direction, tactile gloves that can interact with the virtual space and eye-tracking that can help mirror full visual perspective in our normal world.

Then we have AI which adds another learning dimension to these virtual worlds. The intelligence of the computers can create new dynamic characters, landscapes and routes from your past actions so that things develop uniquely as you venture through the world. No longer will the world have to be pre-programmed and limited to the developer’s imagination. AI can adapt and change according to every user and in real-time

This is just gaming, VR has many more uses. Let’s have a look at a couple. Virtual sports events can be organized allowing teams from different parts of the world to participate or even have a physical space where spectators can join remotely and enjoy all the atmosphere, noise and action from their own homes. Especially in this Covid19 ravaged world, this would be an easier and safer way to get crowds watching an event.

The Esports industry already holds tournaments in a virtual environment allowing teams to compete without physically being there.

The industry has already made strides into virtual commerce where products such as Apple iPhones are sold in virtual worlds like Second Life and Decentraland. Decentraland has 35 different districts that cater to different sectors, like shopping, gaming, learning, art and entertainment where people can pay for goods and services with a virtual currency like the Bitcoin, or Ethereum cryptocurrencies.

They can earn the same currency by working in these virtual worlds or selling their own items. Before there was no cross-over of real Fiat money with the virtual world, so its currency in the virtual world had no value or was deemed monopoly/play money. Now that virtual currencies have a dollar or fiat value, users can pay for real things in the virtual worlds and ultimately change those currencies back to real-world money if needed.

Today it is estimated that 170million people worldwide use virtual reality technology and that the whole industry will be a 50billion dollar industry within 5 years. VR and virtual worlds can do away with the limitations we have on planet earth, the user’s imagination is the only limitation.

By using avatars, enhancements to physical appearance, physical abilities like speed, flight, even metamorphose, users can have fantastical adventures or just project the dream persona that they wish for. There is clearly a human need for this, users of social platforms already do this with their profiles and posts so, why not take it a step further and use the latest VR technology to enhance these profiles.

If you liked this article, check out more articles at covering virtual tech such as VPNs.

Photo by stephan sorkin on Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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