Studying The Psychology Behind Virtual Reality: How Far We Have Come

With all the hype and new about virtual reality many of us would be forgiven in thinking that it’s a fairly new technology but the fact is that it's been about as a medium for decades.

One of the academics that has probably spent more time researching virtual reality is Standford professor Jeremy Bailenson who is the founding director of Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab.

Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual Reality and how VR experience lead to changes in perceptions of others and self. His lab both builds and studies systems which let people meet each other in virtual space with his latest research focusing on how VR can actually transform such things like health, education and interestingly empathy.

Virtual Reality for the consumer is expected to be a $38 billion business by the year 2026, even though it has yet to become a completely fully-fledged mainstream technology.


Gamers are one section of the public that have embraced VR and now enjoy games that can totally immerse them into amazing situations and experiences, and as technology advances and the hardware becomes more affordable then it is only natural that the interest in VR will increase.

For instance, if we look at the cost of smartphones as an example. When they first came onto the stores shelves they were pretty expensive and only really available to those with a good income. Now most of us own a smartphone and have come to rely on them for so much more than making a call or text.

Many of us lead very busy lives and our smartphones keep us in contact with friends and family, we can carry out tasks like banking and shopping for goods and services and we also use our mobiles for our entertainment. We can even play and pay by mobile casino when and where we choose as long as there is an internet connection.

Convenience is all important in today's society and VR developers understand this with HTC already debuting an adaptor that allows Vive users to play untethered from the computer as well as a new headset that has almost an 80% higher resolution that its first headset.


Photo by Eddie Kopp on Unsplash

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