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Beat Isolation with wearable technology - Part 2

With this unprecedented shift in society, that still needs to be social even while social distancing, ‘Virtual Reality’ with ‘Social VR’ on a platform such as Occulous Rift allows a player to take gaming one step further to become totally immersive. ‘Social VR’ has been on outskirts of gaming for the last few years and the company WITHIN spoke at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, about what the future of VR and AR may be. The speakers featured were Aaron KOBLIN (WITHIN) - USA, Colin DECKER (WITHIN) - USA with Moderator: Joanna POPPER (HP) - USA

“The difference between mobile and home consoles and the location-based entertainment (LBE) which is close to going to the cinema is; what platform do you use? And really it doesn’t get really interesting until you add other people. The first people to get in there and join other people will be gamers who are already connecting already over the internet with multiplayer games” (WITHIN, 2018).

The properties of VR are presence, vulnerability and increased empathy. Developers can put people directly within a situation and feel the impact and understanding of that position. This is why it is such a fertile medium for storytelling. The player is immersed in the story entirely and there are many ways to get the user to experience firsthand the elements of what it feels like to be not only viewing the story, but to be a part of it.

“Social VR goes from an image shared to an experience shared which is a much stronger and more visceral memory” (WITHIN, 2018).

“Facebook has connected the world, but WITHIN is tired of connection. They see the value in the untapped market of creating emotions and feelings that are shared between people rather than just connecting people” (WITHIN, 2018).

Not since the release of the VCR has there been such a global shift in recreational activity and even that could not compete with this tidal wave of new: users seeking distraction. It remains to be seen how wearable tech will respond to these societal changes in providing more than just entertainment. As we lean into the long haul of social distancing more online platforms will emerge to provide services never previously imagined as being online. The public still needs a community and ‘necessity is the mother of invention' so it remains to be seen what this Ready Player One reality will bring when it comes to fruition. What was previously science fiction will now become science fact and what is available in cross-platform communication in VR and online will bring a new meaning to the colloquialism ‘The internet of things’.

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