Over a billion people across the world are in lockdown now. Most of them are worried not just about becoming infected with COVID-19, but also about how they will work during the lockdown. They have another fear as well; what to do with the ample amount of time they have on their hands?
The lockdown is not a long holiday because most people who can work from home are working. It is also not a holiday because people cannot go outside as they do during weekends. Most people who are unaccustomed to spending days and weeks locked indoors are feeling anxious. They miss the excitement of going to the movies, eating out, going for a stroll in a lush park, or spending time with close family and friends. While the lockdown is essential, many are frustrated because of it.
During the lockdown, there is a way to experience new environments without stepping outside. Technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) immerse users in virtual worlds that are as rich as or richer than those found in the real world.
New Worlds Enter Homes through AR
Those who have never used AR and VR don’t know how realistic the experiences created by these technologies are. They immerse people in other worlds; teleport them to distant realms.
A school kid trapped in his or her house needs only to wear an AR headset to bring the house alive. By wearing the headset, the kid has the opportunity to transform the home into a vast playground. For instance, fantastic creatures magically appear before the kid’s eyes after wearing an AR headset. The kid can not only see them and talk to them but even play with them. The newest AR technologies make digital creations that are contextually aware. A contextually aware digital avatar will be mindful of the fact that a house has a dining table, sofas, chairs, and beds. Meaning a person wearing an AR headset will see a digitally created monster circle around a dining table rather than pass through it.
For people trapped in homes, AR opens up new ways to spend time at home. It serves as an outlet for pent up frustration. Even the most introverted person wants the freedom to venture outdoors from time to time. AR grants people such freedom without putting them at risk of catching a deadly infection.
The VR Experience
VR is even more immersive than AR. While AR merges digital images with reality, VR transports people to other worlds. At a time when billions of people are quarantined inside, VR can be a panacea to their frustration at being shut-in. VR can be used to roam the sunny streets of a tree-lined city or to traverse through the air in a plane. The numbers of new worlds that can be created using VR are as infinite as the human imagination. Whatever world the mind can conceive, can be created in a virtual world.
During the lockdown, many people will turn to AR and VR because they offer the freedom of traversing the real world. Undoubtedly many will also use these devices to increase productivity. Meetings that earlier could only happen in person can take place in virtual boardrooms through VR.
The lockdown was sudden and unexpected. The public knows how quickly a lockdown can be put in place. This knowledge will undoubtedly lead many to buy AR and VR devices because not only can they transport them to other worlds but also because they make virtual meetings possible.