Time Perception in Virtual Reality

Moma Museum

Time Perception in Virtual Reality

I really do not know what to say … I am looking for a hidden idea of the message I have in front of my eyes: Oculus VR founder thinks that VR may affect your ability to perceive time passing. Initially, this information aroused my gentle smile, but on the second thought, I understood that it is an extremely important statement. Because it is so obvious, we may disregard its value. Why not to write simply that VR is a time-eater? Maybe it is, but that is not the point.

 

Yes, I agree, everything depends on the context. Certainly, in many cases, some doubts arise whether VR will create a new generation of “no-life”, i.e. persons for whom the virtual world will become more important than the real one. By the way, I’ve always wondered what the real world is missing that we want to see in the virtual one? Now, however, I think that the lack of something concerns the individual, and not the world; so, the question itself is ill-posed. But, getting back to the merits – the context that interests us here is: application.

 

Games? Yes, definitely they consume a lot of our time. However, remember that in many cases the VR Goggles is a specific platform, and it is difficult to make it something that can have no other use than pure entertainment. Take the VR Ski Jumping.

 

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Entertainment, yes. However, if the control system requires physical activity – it is the best tool for the rehabilitation of people who suffered strokes. Of course, it can be done through fun!

 

Yes, virtual reality, in many cases, can encourage us to do some work in order to achieve the goal. When I watch a 360 video tour of the ​​Cuba – I see that it is a  beautiful country, but I know I will not taste the famous Daiquiri  by the VR Goggles only. The film can probably be called a deep promotion and virtual marketing. But, what will I do next year? Of course I will go to Cuba! I have been inspired.

 

What about the time. Although most of us suffer from a chronic lack of it, there are always situations where the excess time may become an issue. Let me give you one example that can easily cause another association. A therapy that requires spending several weeks in the hospital. Let’s say chemotherapy. The time for the patient is an important issue because it affects a number of factors that can have a negative impact. His motivation is falling, the patient focuses on the pain and unpleasant aspects of treatment. If VR gives so wonderful possibilities of immersion and contraction of the time – this is one of the mandatory items that should appear on a such ward. Imagine how much relief it can bring to children. VR is already used in the treatment of pain and has numerous applications in the treatment of phobias. In the near future there will be applications for relaxation, meditation, etc.
Now, we have another characteristic: the impact on the subjective perception of time. At the moment, I can see many possibilities for the use of this obvious statement in medicine. However, I am aware that “time” is a problem not only in this one area but in many other too.

References:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/17/11258718/palmer-luckey-oculus-time-vr-virtual-reality-gdc-2016

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