The practical uses for virtual reality

If you’ve never donned a TopGun-like VR headset or cardboard strapped smartphone, you should check it out. The experience is like watching Avatar at the IMAX theater for the first time: incredible but fleeting.

I personally own an HTC Vive and converted my upstairs loft into the VR cave so I have a bit of experience within this realm. In my opinion, if VR was treated like prose, it would be best suited to a Twitter-like approach. Short, constrained ‘get-in-get-out’ moments. The initial shock and awe of VR is undeniable but try spending more than a half hour in this digital matrix. Your real body calls to attention your organic self such as sore retinas, neck muscles crying out in pain from wearing weights on your face and the flop sweat…

The VR community is drive by enhancing PC gaming experiences which typically last from 40 hours to over 200. That model just won’t work for VR experiences. There are a handful of companies harnessing the initial shock-and-awe approach and are doing it well. Finnair has a VR experience for touring their new A350 airplane (which easily tops the list of best sky trains I’ve been on) and the guys behind Rick and Morty have a free interactive game that’s very short but leaves you laughing your ass off while you question your morality.

The tech is always getting better but nothing will be a true VR experience until we live on the starship Enterprise and have a holodeck at our disposal. Until then we’ll be confined to exploring short trips within a sweaty, headache inducing helm.