Virtual Reality has come a long way from the 1930s. The ‘Link Trainer’ was created to safely train new pilots how to use the electronic aircraft systems found in World War II planes. The flight simulators very closely resembled the common coin-operated kids rides found in malls. Today, virtual reality can be experienced in the comfort of your home and the experience is constantly improving thanks to features such as haptic feedback, eye-tracking, and miniature high definition displays. Yes, I know what you are thinking. This sounds like another video game console right? Admittedly at this moment, virtual reality is primarily used to experience different worlds, but innovation spurs from this and the US market are heavily invested in this technology and are doing some pretty interesting things with it.
NASA uses virtual reality to train astronauts to navigate and maintain the International Space Station, which means that we won’t have any poor souls drifting away into deep outer space. Replicating situations that are normally dangerous and or impossible can be an option for organizations that want to train staff in realistic environments without the worry of any potential mishaps that could occur.
Virtually Better, Inc is a company developing VR applications to help combat mental health issues such as phobias, PTSD, stress/pain management, and substance use disorders. Perhaps if you were to get a chance to use their Phobias Suite, you could get over some of your greatest fears, such as heights, flying, storms, and even public speaking. Professional therapists don’t need to worry about virtual reality headsets taking their jobs any time soon, but this software could be accessible for those that do not have the means to go to a mental health clinic.
Though virtual reality headsets and computers capable of running the sophisticated software have become more affordable than ever, the equipment will still set you back a pretty penny. Libraries have always been in the forefront of providing access to innovative technology to all its serving residents. We welcome you to come explore new worlds in the Library’s Virtual Fridays program.
These are some of the games/experiences we have to offer:
The Lab-Think you have a sharp shooter’s eye? Try and hit moving targets with your bow and arrow
theBlu-Dive deep into the darkest realms of the ocean.
Job Simulator-Participate in comical approximations of real-world jobs
Dreams of Dali-Travel through Salvador Dali’s surrealistic paintings in a 3D environment.