Augmented reality builds business - but creates a new global addiction

It seems that there’s good and bad in everything. Dramatic improvements in virtual reality systems have led to massive productivity improvements – but have spawned a new addiction afflicting millions around the world.

The last few years have seen VR (virtual reality) and augmented reality move into the mainstream. Systems like Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens have become so immersive, and so realistic, that a new generation of designers, engineers, doctors, mechanics and virtually all professionals are being trained using them, or running businesses with them. After all, why risk the life of a living patient, when a trainee doctor can perform a virtual operation that looks, sounds and feels just as real as… well, the real thing?

Even the ordinary computer desktop screen is a thing of the past. Lightweight headsets mean that anyone can have a virtual desktop with unlimited space and applications. And it’s more fun!

But at the end of the day, humans are just humans. With instant and unlimited ‘reality’ at their fingertips, millions of people are choosing to ‘virtually’ live inside their VR systems instead of in the real world. People are spending all their waking hours, and often foregoing sleep, to live in their dreams.

Why face the grey reality of your ordinary life when you can dive the oceans, fly over mountains, fight aliens and meet really interesting ‘people’.

Yes, pornography has boomed like never before. Virtual sex has become almost as good as the real thing, and relationships all over the planet are in trouble as a result. “When it comes to couples, it’s more a case of ‘rift’ than ‘oculus’,” said one overworked marriage counsellor.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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