Saying that the current COVID-19 crisis has changed everyone’s lives would actually be an understatement. Most countries around the world enacted some sort of lockdown measures at some point or another — many cities are in lockdown to this day. Suddenly, people had to alter how they go about their day-to-day activities.
We all have to endure a tremendous amount of time at home during the lockdown. It can feel overwhelming — like being in prison, almost literally.
On the other hand, this is where contemporary technologies got their chance to shine. Due to the omnipresence of the Internet and the abundance of portable hardware — remote work is easier than ever. But can technology aid our personal lives as much as professional ones? Not just a virtual assistant for your work — can technology assist us in overcoming the gloomy reality of the lockdowns? With the help of virtual reality — that may just be the case.
There are plenty of things that VR can help us with. Want to exercise outside, but can’t leave your house? Are you longing for traveling to a far-flung land? Or do you just want to visit a couple of friends and have a beer with them? All of that can be achieved to a certain extent if you have a VR headset.
Sure, consumer-grade virtual reality still has a long way to go, and it’s definitely far from perfect. However, it has shown signs of a significant improvement in the past decade. As of now, the Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and HTC Vive all have intricate mechanisms for controlling, excellent response times, and HD displays. And they’re around the thousand dollar price point, or even below.
On the other hand, they require a lot of space for true freedom of movement, and you need a powerful computer to use with them. Still, they can certainly be worth the trouble.
Plus, these days, you can find alternatives that don’t require such an extensive setup. For example, there’s the Quest model from the Oculus Rift company. It’s a VR headset that’s completely standalone — meaning not only do you not need a powerful PC to run it, but you don’t need any kind of PC at all. It’s unobtrusive and extremely comfortable, and as good as this technology gets in 2020.
The controls are also pretty slick — there are two wireless pads that track how you move your arms with extreme accuracy. This model is all about the user experience — the process of setting it up is quite intuitive. Indeed, when you first use it for the first time, you will use these pads to select the amount of space you can work with, in your surrounding area, making sure you’re not tripping over stuff in your living room.
This is pretty much a game-changer in the world of VR. Suddenly, even people who aren’t computer nerds can have a home entertainment system that offers great content — without needing a hefty PC configuration.
Something that would be a novelty purchase just a year ago has now become a life-saver when it comes to lockdown psychology. Let’s be honest — VR won’t be able to replace real-life experiences for a long time. However, right now, it’s just good enough to combat the stress triggered by being locked up in a house or a tiny apartment for weeks on end.
You can explore the depths of space from your living room, or go mountain climbing. Plus, there are VR movies to be viewed on Amazon and YouTube — some of which are absolutely breathtaking.
On top of that, there are plenty of other exciting interactive experiences available for the platform. Games such as SuperHot or BeatSaber give you countless options for a fun afternoon, even if you’re not allowed to leave your home. Plus, there are social networking apps for these VR headsets — allowing you to meet people in virtual spaces.
And that’s just the most straightforward experience you can buy. There are plenty of peripherals, from additional action-specific controllers to entire VR-centered gaming chairs.
But even without these, what current-gen VR does give you in its experiences and games is a real sense of space. That’s a feeling that hasn’t been achievable up until recently — but these days, when you use VR, you truly have every sensation that informs you about being in another space. If the content that you’re experiencing is high-quality enough, there are now no hardware limitations to feeling that you’ve transported yourself to a new realm.
You can ease your lockdown time by watching VR documentaries that contain visuals you couldn’t have imagined before. And it can be useful in ways you may not believe. For instance, we’ve all put on weight during the quarantine. But working out indoors during the lockdown becomes far more comfortable with VR fitness apps. Just strap on your VR headset and experience the sensation of working out in gorgeous landscapes you’d never have access to otherwise.
Plus, useful apps can alleviate one of the most stressful aspects of lockdowns and quarantines all across the world — not being able to hang out with your family and friends. You can use VR to scan your immediate surroundings and recreate them for someone else who also has a headset. In other words — you and your favorite people can have a virtual dinner party using this technology!
Sure, it’s not the real deal, and there’s still no replacement for actually hugging someone — but until the dangers of COVID-19 pass, such temporary solutions can mean the whole world to some people — which is why they shouldn’t be disregarded. Overall, we hope that this article was of use to you and that you have learned something new today. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are going through and have a good one, guys!