This week we examine another great invention of our time…the Oculus Rift. It is a cheaper head-mounted display created for gamers that operates with virtual reality. It operates in a way that allows players to step into another world (virtually) and experience their games like they are in it.
In March this year, Oculus was bought by Facebook for $2 billion and it is estimated to have an impact on the game world that is ‘off-the-charts’, never-before-experienced and simply out of this world.
The real excitement about the Oculus isn’t its use for gamers though…it is the long term impact of virtual reality on our everyday reality using gadgets like the Oculus. Now, take a min to imagine you having a meeting that didn’t require travel [and we are not talking about skype or any webcam application] but you can be present at the meeting without your body actually being there. Or imagine someone who had challenges with mobility [say someone chronically ill] attending a doctor’s appointment that didn’t require him/her to be physically present for thorough diagnosis to take place…
Medical scientists have already come up with some ways the Oculus Rift can be used to help their work. According to ‘Other Amazing Uses For The Oculus Rift’, this device allows amputees suffering from Phantom Limb Syndrome to feel “as though their missing limb is still present and even experience itching sensations and the like. By seeing a virtual recreation of that limb, studies have shown that these patients are better able to come to terms with their loss and adapt their brains accordingly.”
In fact, sometime during the early parts of this year 2014, a programmer whose grandma was terminally ill with cancer was able to use the oculus Rift to allow her take a virtual stroll around her home and the neighbourhood she lived in as she was too weak to do so physically in the real world.
Medical Scientists are also investigating its use in the treatment of Phobias and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. This is definitely a device to be excited about because, currently, it feels like its uses are endless and very impactful and would surely go a long way in easing some of life’s challenges for the ill and elderly.