Speaking to ET, Sylvia Pan and Marco Gillies from Goldsmith College, University of London say that VR’s growth has been slow just like any other technology medium but will take time for universal adoption.”VR is a lean medium and not like Blue Ray DVD. You have to target it correctly by creating relevant content and then implement it.” She points out that one of the major setbacks for VR adoption is the absence of new content and cost of the devices.
Gillies agrees to the cost issues and says that low-cost VR is the key. “You really need high-end hardware for a superior experience. The cost is going to come down like any other technology. It is very graphics intensive. That is why it needs more time to become affordable.”
He also points that the absence of unified standards for VR courses between the institutions across the world. Creators need to take into account different VR hardware’s inconsistency and maintain coding standards to make it easy for
development of VR applications.
But California based Ed-Tech organization Coursera with association with Pan and Gillies with have launched a Virtual reality course with five modules. It provides an opportunity for students to make their own virtual reality game at the end of the term. “The course would have been enormously easy if there were standards. Now is the great moment to start with VR. If we waited to start the course until everything was settled, then we would not have that opportunity to teach it first.”
Pan says that the University of London has a good relationship with Coursera, which she hopes will continue for a long time. “We learned that there could be a large base of learners in India who are willing to advance their skills in virtual reality and this is the best time to do it.”
In terms of application in other areas, Sylvia points out that apart from gaming, Psychotherapy of socio-phobia is one area where VR applications can break some boundaries. It can be used in their therapy, training, and education. It can be used develop a technical therapy that can handle traumatic stress-related disorders. “It will help soldiers cope with their post-war situation. When they come back home, they cannot deal with real life. They get reminded of the situation they were in. Using VR, we pose them to the scenarios that created those problems but also create an environment which helps them heal it.”
Lastly, she says VR will impact educational systems in many countries, especially in the medical domain. “You cannot let your students go directly for a surgical operation on real patients. But they can experience it on VR. VR will also be a new medium for entertainment. We will have a lot of new experiences there. A lot of creative ideas will spur from here.”