Social has the potential to be the killer app in VR—enabling us to connect with others on a level that more closely mirrors human interaction, all with a strong sense of presence (that feeling of truly being transported somewhere else).
But at one virtual reality and augmented reality exhibition in Tokyo, VR can also be used to go on a date with a young woman who whispers sweet nothings into your ear.
Demoed by Japanese firm FutureLeap, the intimate immersive experience has a young model kneeling on a fluffy carpet while she tosses balloons in the air, blows bubbles, and flirts with an attendee wearing an Oculus VR headset sitting some six feet away in a chair.
Attendees felt like they were actually sitting in the woman’s presence, captured with a 3D camera that provided a first-person POV of the female model next to you. In addition to the VR camera, a 2-ear binaural mic was setup for stereo recording that made you feel like the woman was whispering into your ear to evoke auditory sensory responses (ASMR).
Not necessarily a VR experience you’ll see anytime soon at VR theme park near you, it is another example of how VR can be used in the future to bring people closer together.
Imagine VR arcades and centers around the world that allow you to attend meetings in VR teleconferencing rooms with a client across the globe. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on travel or wasting natural energy resources for a quick international meeting, meeting in VR may just be the better alternative. Retailers could also use the technology to interact with customers for marketing or customer service.
VR meetings not only allow for nuanced nonverbal communication, eye contact, and subtle cues such as interpersonal distance, it will also become one of the best ways to collaborate with others remotely. You’ll be able to co-create and work together in groups all within a virtual environment.
The social aspect of VR is only going to improve with time. Pushing us all to further connect with others around the world. And it’s that human connection that matters more than just about everything else we can expect from virtual reality.