How Virtual Reality Changed Our Lifestyle: Exploring Advantages & Disadvantages of Using VR

How Virtual Reality Changed Our Lifestyle

For many years, the fascinating concept of virtual reality was mentioned only in science fiction literature and movies, as there was no way to guarantee a completely immersive experience. Providing satisfactory quality in 3D environments from a graphics, sound, and physics perspective requires the advanced computing, audio, and video technologies available relatively recently. Still, the primarily limited VR use to the entertainment industry or military installations. It was not until the 21st century that virtual reality technology evolved enough to provide a reliable virtual world with the help of compact, convenient, and more affordable devices.

As a result, virtual reality and augmented reality concepts have found new practical implementations in various industries. One is the use of AR and VR in the medical field. Virtual reality is a state-of-the-art technology that enables a three-dimensional computer-generated environment that users can explore and manipulate. The simulated environment is revived and perceived by human senses (mainly auditory and visual).

Virtual reality enhances the user experience and gives users a distinctive "real" feel. VR, which has entered the gaming industry as a user experience-enhancing technology, is rapidly gaining popularity in other sectors because it can provide rich experiential knowledge.

Today, the education sector is embracing the commercialization of this technology. The primary purpose of virtual reality in education is to simplify the learning experience by making it practical and exciting for students.VR education provides a deep understanding of scholarship by encouraging professional and simulated education. Virtual reality is rapidly taking over the education system globally due to the dynamics of technological advancement. It boosts the brain through the senses and lets students remember each VR lesson vividly.

Advantages of virtual reality (VR)

1. Experience is the best teacher

An immersive VR experience is an illusion that the user may experience being in another location (the illusion of place). The events that occur there are real (the illusion of validity). They even accept a virtual body, the so-called avatar, as a natural body (the illusion of the body). The strength of VR lies in the capability to trick the brain into accepting that the artificial environment and the events within it are genuine. In VR, users experience things depending on the situation. VR contextual and environmental factors significantly impact knowledge-building activities and when newly acquired abilities are applied.

2. Cognitive benefits

Content and teaching strategies are likely to be more important than media types, but VR-based training can improve attitudes towards learning. Well-designed VR simulations seem to motivate learners to make more efforts to understand the material. The embodied cognitive theory also suggests that physical cues and interactions in virtual environments can improve higher levels of cognitive processing, as there is a close relationship between our motor and visual processes. Emotions can also significantly impact decision-making and problem solving, especially in dangerous situations.

3. Gamification can improve motivation

Gamification offers the potential for VR to improve both motivation and learning outcomes further. Combining training simulation with game-like elements such as scoring, timed activities, and rewards allows trainees to compete with each other in a VR environment and engage more in learning.

4. Cost-effectiveness and scalability

Building a physics simulator can be expensive and has limited capacity. Training in VR does not have to be physically present in the location, which helps save unnecessary costs and creates a more sustainable travel policy. Virtual reality training is extensible to all employees, allowing learners to safely repeat the training situation as many times as required to feel ready and convinced. VR also allows you to safely learn through mistakes that may be dangerous or even impossible in the real world.

For example, a physics simulator for training nuclear power plant operators costs millions of euros and is often fully booked. The cost of a virtual replica in the same environment is negligible, and the changes are easy to implement. At Robbie's Fortum Nuclear Power Plant, 90% of its staff train in the control room of the world's foremost completely dynamic and interactive virtual reality nuclear power plant.

5. Real-time feedback and detailed analysis

One of the essential things in training is to evaluate the learning outcomes. Built-in tracking in most VR systems provides accurate data on the trainee's behavior during the training scenario. It can give the learners detailed real-time feedback and instructions. More importantly, the ability to see learner performance and activity in realistic situations with unmatched accuracy and save the data for later analysis or comparison.

6. Safe alternative: controlled exposure to a stressful environment

As with real-world scenarios, you are immersing in VR can evoke emotional states and provide a high level of psychological presence so that learners have the opportunity to learn to process their emotions. In VR, you can learn the skills you need to act in dangerous situations through realistic scenarios, but training is expensive, harmful, or impossible in real life.

Disadvantages of virtual reality (VR)

1. Illusion can be easily broken

Illusions are both the strengths and weaknesses of the technology. It is hard to create, but illusions are easily broken. Users are not only VR observers; they also make VR. However, it is not designed for VR. The exact opposite. Evolution has driven the human brain to be good at noticing abnormalities. In VR, sensory input may not be the same as all other life experiences, which can be distracting for some users.

2. Conflict of sensation

Moreover, the latest VR implementations do not cover all human senses. Virtual reality experiences can consist of artificial visual, auditory, and sometimes tactile sensations, but for example, equilibrium and proprioceptive sensations are unaffected and cause contradictory sensory stimuli. Even the optical illusion is not perfect. Users may see pixels instead of images.

The lens can cause visual distortion, or you may experience significant delays or other glitches. However, if done correctly, VR users may not be aware of any flaws in the VR system. Sometimes imperfections cause increased fatigue and headaches, as the brain does more work to interpret abnormal stimuli. Unfortunately, some users may experience VR sickness and suffer from symptoms such as dizziness and nausea.

3. Behavioral changes

VR can cause nausea and other direct effects on some users, but artificial sensory stimuli can also have another less noticeable impact on users. For example, users are more likely to get lost in VR than usual. The brain cannot build an accurate mental map of the environment from contradictory and imperfect sensations, leading to a diminished sense of direction. Artificial stimuli can also have unwanted or unexpected effects on user behavior.

For example, the limited display resolution of a virtual reality headset allows users to lean forward and see details that look fine in real life. The user's behavior during VR training may be slightly different from the actual situation, and the user will learn the inappropriate method.

4. Ergonomic complexity

Overall, ergonomics is a fairly complex issue in VR. Eyeglasses can cause HMDs (head-mounted displays) problems for some users, and long-term use can almost always cause eye strain and physical fatigue. The virtual environment does not provide any specific support. Virtual objects are weightless, but users can get tired when traveling in VR due to their weight and the weight of the VR device.

VR is a new technology and is often applied for the first time for a specific purpose, so it may not be enough to understand how VR works and what its limitations are. Developing new and appropriate training scenarios can be difficult, especially for small businesses. Creating learning materials for virtual reality training requires new technologies and expertise that may not be readily available or too expensive.

5. Accessibility

VR headsets have become more affordable, but they are still so expensive that most consumers minimize their interaction with VR. Also, the comfort and appearance of consumer VR hardware may not yet attract a broad audience. Unless the average person is experiencing VR in their daily lives, it is not easy to find an excellent example of using VR technology at work. In addition, if users are new to technology, they may need assistance in using the technology, which can complicate training organizations and increase costs.

Finally, after understanding all the strengths and weaknesses of VR technology, we need to comprehend the meaning of the virtual world and its attributes. Virtual reality can be astonishing and educational, and it also helps reduce accumulated stress by giving you the joy of virtually visiting another world. It is costly, and some people can easily get addicted. Addiction causes several health problems, such as depression and anxiety. No matter how much training you have in the virtual world, you will not be able to complete your skill. Therefore, the experience gained there is never perceived as accurate or sufficient.


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