The concept of Virtual Reality (VR) was once restricted to the fantasy, sci-fi world of movies and books. Back in the 20th century (not so long ago really), we got a real kick out of all the wierd and wonderful things that were going to be a part of the future, the much anticipated 21st century. Talking robots, self-driving cars, goggles that enable you to ‘see’ into a different dimension, strap on jet packs that allow you to fly…these were the innovations of our childhood cartoons and TV shows like Star Trek and Dr. Who.

Well, that future is here now all too soon and as Sveta Mcshane asks in a recent article, ‘What will happen when the technology has evolved to the point that people actually prefer virtual experiences to real ones?’ As she points out ‘we already choose virtual experiences over “real” ones on a regular basis. We do it every time we choose to post on a friend’s Facebook wall instead of meeting them at a coffee house.’

This is so sickeningly and sadly true. We seem to be rejecting all forms of face to face human contact for a screen based, push of a button, let’s get our headphones on and block the real word out kind of existence. I am guilty. So are you.

Very soon, if not yesterday already, we will need to draw the line between VR technology and devices that improve our quality of life versus those that destroy the very nature of being ‘human’.

Thiken believes VR apps are revolutionising the way we do business. As CEO Pasindu Withanage points out, ‘Humans are curious creatures. We always want to play around with and use the latest technologies. This is the very quality that keeps humans at the top of the food chain and as the most dominant species on this planet. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is coming, whether you like it or not and these technologies will change the way we look at things. As the first generation that is adopting this technology I believe it’s our duty to figure out the good from the bad, and use the technology wisely. Because if applied right, these technologies can make our lives so easier and will help us become better in so many ways.’

Certainly apps that teach, train, monitor, track and generally add an enhanced dimension to otherwise monotonous tasks are to be encouraged and diligently implemented. But let’s be very wise about where we draw the line on intrusive technology. For once we lose our humanity, it can never be regained.

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