We ask our industry panel - the brightest and sharpest VR professionals from around the world - one question about the VR industry, business, technology or trending stories every week. This week, they consider the potential impact of VR on the future of the human race.
Will VR, AR and MR usher in the next stage of human evolution, or is it just a really cool way to play games and access information?
"Absolutely! Games and entertainment apps are just the beginning. VR, AR and MR are perfect tools to enable us to have a more positive impact on our planet by significantly reducing the need to travel, while enabling a similar level of engagement - whether it be for conferences, work collaboration or anything else. These platforms will also enable endless opportunities for education, training and exploration that just isn't possible today."
VR will definitely have a direct influence on our genes.Jonathan Wagstaff
"There has been research showing how technology and science really are changing human evolution. We're seeing HMD technology being quickly adopted by medical labs in famous projects such as Duke University's Walk Again venture, and if genetic strings previously seen as undesirable can be nullified by human artifice, then natural selection will have less and less influence.
“I've also heard of governments in some far-eastern countries taking an interest in VR to improve the spatial awareness of the general public using VR. As far-fetched as it might sound, VR will definitely have a direct influence on our genes."
“The next evolutionary phase for the human race will be to effectively multitask. If we reach this level (a greater stretch for us fellas), we’ll be better equipped to deal with all categories of digital reality thrown at us.
“I gave a talk at Futurefest in September where I spoke about the potential state of VR and AR in 20 years and referred to ‘Duality’. By this, I mean our future internalised audio and visual experiences and mixed memories, tapping straight into our optic nerves and moving on from the use of cumbersome headsets. Far-fetched? Nah, just using technology to give evolution a helping hand.”
It will usher us past the Information Age and into the Virtuality Age.Stephanie Llamas
“VR, AR and MR are integrating so many of the biggest media innovations of the last century that there is no way they will not merge to become a prolific new medium itself. Phone, radio, television, PC, Internet, smart devices... Virtuality is the mecca of all these media and will create an even easier way to advance knowledge, entertainment and innovation by melding those tools into one mega-resource.
"To say it’s a novelty would be short-sighted; though it won't completely penetrate in the next five years, when it does (and it will), it will usher us past the Information Age and into the Virtuality Age."