Out of the many new technologies that have arisen in out current decade, one of them really impresses me and brings with it an admirable, futuristic, coolness. It’s a device not even on the market yet. This headset, know as the Oculus Rift, immerses the user into a 3D visual experience–gaming or even video. Having used one myself I can attest to it’s wonder. When I watched a video with one, I could barely concentrate on the video because of my fascination with this feeling of actually being in the setting–all other visual stimuli was blocked out. In the past, virtual reality headsets were hindered by their limited field of view, making it appear like you were sitting in a dark room facing a television that was several feet from you. But the Oculus Rift puts you inside the screen, with a huge field of view that fills your entire vision. With stereoscopic 3D built in too, the level of immersion is unparalleled.
While other virtual reality headsets already exist on the market, many have extremely high price points or are reserved for specific communities like the military. Pricing for the Oculus Rift has not yet been announced, but it will be competitively priced to fuel consumer interest and adoption. Currently developers can purchase the Oculus Rift and the developer kit for $350, so they can build software and games that will work with the device.
But Since the Oculus began on Kickstarter with predictions and anticipations of it turning into a gaming device, the recent $2 billion purchase by Facebook has caused many fans to protest; these Oculus fans fear their potential gaming device will be turned into a social media one instead.
What some fans may not know though, is that this virtual reality device may actually be used in the future, in businesses. This could potentially be used as a more productive means of teaching employees how to do their job: psychologists are currently testing this hypothesis. A few graduate psychologists at the Pennsylvania State University–including I/O Psychology graduate Matt Howard–are in the midst of researching the benefits of using the Oculus Rift to teach people. They believe if their study results are positive that there is a good change the Oculus Rift may me used by employers in the future and even by some virtual schools. Since the device blocks out all other stimuli, it enables the user–whether employee or student–to absorb the information without being easily distracted. Results of the study cannot be predicted, but the future holds certain greatness for the Oculus Rift, whatever form that will take.