Technology is developing at an almost unbelievable rate. Things that would have been considered impossible not so long ago are now a normalized part of our culture. This breakneck pace of technological innovation has led to some interesting developments. Two such developments have been drones and virtual reality technology.
Also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicle, drones use remote control flight technology to explore and record environments that are difficult or time consuming for people to get to. The aerial vehicle and control systems vary depending on the model. Certain drones are designed for speed and accuracy for entertainment and hobby flying. Others are made of more specific materials chosen to withstand extreme conditions for exploration and military uses.
Being in a distant land at a moment’s notice, or far away fictional planet in your spare time is the kind of experience virtual reality technology allows. Virtual reality utilizes computer technology to immerse you in another environment. It provides exceptionally realistic graphics that can be explored as you move and turn. While other visual forms of entertainment such as books and television can only be explored linearly, VR allows you to explore the fictional or distant environment in a more dimensional and realistic sense.
We have already begun using these advancements in interesting and exciting ways. However, the possibilities of how these amazing technologies can be utilized are still being explored. Pairing drones with virtual reality visual immersion technology could potentially lead to significant transformations in a variety of fields. Being able to explore and react to a real environment from a remote location could reshape many areas of our lives.
Both drones and virtual reality have been utilized for gaming and in competitions. Putting them together could open a new world of possibilities and experiences in these areas. Global scavenger hunts and reactive drone sports are just a couple of the innumerable ways these advancements could change the face of our leisure and sports activities. (Quidditch doesn’t seem quite so impossible, now does it?)
Saving up and taking time off for vacations can be difficult, and even impossible in some situations. The combination of drone and virtual reality technology has the potential to provide exciting getaways with little to no notice. A drone that is informed by a person’s movements rather than remote controls, and relayed instant video in an immersive format would create an entirely new market for vacations and sightseeing (Talk about a cool use for a drone.). Not to mention socializing with those long-distance loved ones could theoretically become easier.
Technology makes our lives more fun and easier in so many different ways. It also has the potential to carry some serious and heavy consequences. The technology used for war and the enforcement of the law can be a tremendous asset in the hands of people trying to accomplish something good. It can also be abused.
Surveillance, investigation, and combat training are all areas that could potentially benefit and evolve if they began to use VR with drones. Coupled with other technology like weaponization and facial recognition and interrogation and targeted strike efforts become more swift and precise with little to no risk for the aggressing army of responsive drones. Then again, the very things that make drones with VR capabilities dangerous are the very things that would make them beneficial and even life-saving in the right hands. The ethical dilemma of this hypothetical tech will no doubt be resolved by whoever is in command of it.
VR capable drones could reshape many of our industries. Agriculture, environmental science, and healthcare are just a few of the areas that could be reinvented with this potential tech pairing.
Agricultural and environmental professions have already benefited from drone technology. They have helped in areas such crop inspection and diagnostics, along with environmental surveillance and recording. Adding VR technology to that equipment is the first step toward being able to immediately treat and more thoroughly and accurately investigate problems.
The same “first hand” perspective could also help with diagnostics in healthcare. Doctors would be able to help diagnose and potentially, eventually even treat illnesses. A virtual reality drone would theoretically provide doctors with the capability to comprehensively visually inspect a patient from a remote location. Meaning doctors would be able to help you no matter where you are without ever having to be in the same room with you. This ability would almost certainly cut down on contamination risks and hopefully prevent the location from being a reason for people not seeking health care or treatment.
The combination of this technology is still being explored and contemplated. Even individually, virtual reality and drones are both being fine-tuned to reach their full potential. As we try new things and dream about the possibilities, it is important to remember our responsibilities to each other and think about how to best use our innovations and ideas. While we currently are enjoying these innovations individually, it seems only logical that it will only be a matter of time before they are combined to create the experiences and services of our futures.