Other world, this world

Sometimes it is important to see the world in a new light. To help us imagine how and what the future might be like, it is possible to use Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) to get a sense of new possibilities.

VR has a dreamlike quality, getting into another zone, discovering what is in there, sometimes hidden, sometimes like a game. Of course, these zones do not come from nowhere, they have been created and programmed, to trick our minds into an illusion that helps us see a different kind of reality. However, the headset largely isolates you from the real world.

Augmented Reality (AR) is also on the rise. In AR something gets added to our current reality. It does not move us elsewhere but it “augments” our current state.

VR and AR are associated mostly with gaming, but they are going to be useful for far more in the future. Think of professional applications in healthcare, education, design, architecture, and more. This is not a new trend, and the developments still have a long way to go. But, we’re seeing the first work-related applications starting to appear.

For example, we are currently doing a project for a client in which we are exploring a VR prototype in the context of the development of public space. Before making changes in public spaces and infrastructure in a city, it is often worthwhile to see what these might look like, and explore the options before making actual adjustments in the streets.

Putting a VR headset over your eyes leaves you blind to the current world. So people first have to get back to the normal world, by taking off the goggles, before we can have a conversation about their experience.

It would be interesting to also explore Augmented Reality, as this enables the user to move around relatively freely in the real world, staying present with what is actually happening and remaining in contact with people and the whole situation. The use of VR may cause some disorientation and even dizziness. This is less of a problem with AR, because you can still see the real world.

Looking forward to the future developments in the coming years and trying the new applications!