VR in 'Pop Culture' 

At Totem Learning, it’s fair to say that we all have our favourite ‘pop culture’ crazes. For me, there’s nothing like a good Dystopian narrative with a bit of Artificial Intelligence thrown in. What is interesting to see is the fact that I most certainly am not the only one with an interest in the portrayal of technology and the future of it within pop culture.

Funnily enough, TV shows and films have moved away from the more ‘out there’ concepts like space and time travel and looked closer to home. I’m talking about mobile phones, TV’s, tablets and so on. Things that are in almost everyone’s home. I suppose that’s the scary part about it all. ‘Netflix’ is airing it’s fourth season of the critically acclaimed series, Black Mirror, which is centered around technology that is not yet developed...but that could potentially be developed.

Tech Journalist and expert, Mike Murphy, was asked a series of questions in an interview and in response to a question about technology being used to restore memory (as seen in one of the episodes), he said “the Pentagon is working on technology to restore memory to those with neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries, but this is still likely decades from being something that we could all have access to, and it would probably just restore our own ability to recall memories”, but I would argue this in itself is exciting. Many of the episodes highlight the usefulness of such products and developments but they also show the negative aspects of technology.

Whatever the case, it’s remarkable to see how fascinated people are with VR and AR in fictional settings. It makes you wonder how people would react in today’s world. Totem have had the privilege of experiencing some of those reactions first hand with our clients (many of whom have never used anything like it before) and it really is all captured in their shocked and curious faces. We develop 'off-the-shelf' as well as bespoke games that use VR and AR to improve an individual's learning and development. Our clients, globally, have found there is an increase in performance amongst their employees or students which prove that there is a demand and a commercial future for such technology. Our GuildWeldVR game, for instance, allows someone to practice welding with a 3D printed piece of welding equipment without suffering the consequences of slipping up or costing the company money. This has only been achieved through the application of VR and AR to produce such an authentic experience. 

I think we’re already in the age of technology but it’s really only the beginning. The rate of development is at it’s quickest and every week there seems to be a new version of something coming out. Chris Milk, founder and CEO of VR company, Within, states that: “Virtual reality is the 'ultimate empathy machine.' These experiences are more than documentaries. They're opportunities to walk a mile in someone else's shoes” and this is something Totem allows you to do with our immersive experiences. It'll be interesting to see what the future holds! 

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