Imagine looking down at Earth while you float through space. Hearing a shell screaming overhead from inside a military bunker. Feeling an ocean breeze on your skin. Inhaling the scent of the forest after the rain. All while standing in the same spot.
Virtual reality technology is evolving from merely strapping on a headset for a visual encounter to truly immersive experiences incorporating every human sense. This type of VR experience not only makes you feel like you're in a different world — it also tricks the most primal parts of your brain into believing it. Your higher consciousness might know you're standing in a VR kiosk at a mall, but your senses see, hear, feel and even smell a completely different environment.
Tico Ballagas, senior manager in the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Compute Lab at HP, says VR will soon better replicate how humans experience and interact with the world — all being made possible technology that works in harmony with the brain.
“One of the high-level ideas floating out there, even outside of VR, is that we’re entering a new age,” says Ballagas. “We shifted from the Industrial Age to the Information Age, and now we’re transitioning to the Experience Age.”