VIRTUAL REALITY

In Virtual Reality (VR), the user is in a computer-generated, i.e. an artificially created 360-degree space and freely selects his or her viewing direction by moving his or her head.

A data glasses (head-mounted display) transmits the physical presence of the user and his/her interactions with the virtual world.

If a VR experience is successful, our conscious mind is tricked into believing that we're in another world. And that's not all: through virtual reality, we perceive the illusion of the virtual world as real.

As users of this technology, we are no longer outside viewers, but participants. We very quickly become emotionally involved "in" the story. We "feel" what's happening. For example, if we fall from a great height in a virtual space, a "queasy" feeling is experienced in the stomach. With VR, we achieve a completely new kind of spatial perception and physical experience.

 

In which areas can VR be used in the future?
Product presentations in virtual space, the creation of prototypes, virtual trainings, simulators of all kinds (e. g. flight simulators), virtual museum visits, or visualizations in architecture, education, medicine or archaeology would be conceivable.


Imagine that the past could be brought back to life, lost cities could be rebuilt, or artworks that are slowly decaying could be preserved.

ETHICAL ISSUES

Like any technology, the application of virtual reality involves risks. Therefore, a responsible approach to virtual reality is just as important as scientific studies on the effects of virtual reality and the education of its users. There is still little information on the extent to which it can have an impact on the users' psyche and self-perception, since virtual reality can generate strong illusions and emotions.

 

One possible risk is the state of altered body illusion i.e. the feeling of being able to possess and control a body that is not one's own. In addition, behavioural changes could arise as a result of possible psychological manipulation, since the VR situation is entirely determined by the "host" of the virtual world. It has not yet been proven whether these will continue to persist after leaving the VR environment. There is a further risk in scenes of violence that could trigger psychological trauma.

 

We and our network partners are aware of the fact that a transparent, responsible approach to the possible risks is absolutely essential.