I’m sure we’ve all wondered at some point what the future will look like. Will there be flying cars? Freedom of movement? How much will Freddo’s be? We just don’t know.
One thing most people seem to agree on is that virtual and augmented reality will play a big part in the future, especially as the technology develops and becomes more affordable, accessible, and less cumbersome.
In a noble attempt to take a peek at what this VR focused future could entail, Jak Wilmot has created a fascinating video for Disrupt documenting the one week he spent with a VR headset strapped on his noggin.
Hour 143.5 in XR:
One's dreams at this point are entirely in Virtual Reality.
Vast worlds with intuitive UI are experienced, populated with people from the waking life.
— jak (@JakWilmot) February 26, 2019
Jak wanted to see what it would be like to eat, sleep, work, socialise, exercise, and even shower in virtual reality for seven days (168 hours). He blacked out all the windows in his house, and allowed himself brief windows of no more than half a minute in which to change his headsets.
While some people criticised the experiment as reckless and potentially dangerous, Jak was eager to see what the effects of prolonged time spent immersed in virtual reality worlds would be.
As it turns out, he was mostly able to continue life as normal. He was able to work and respond to emails with stunning virtual backdrops instead of a drab office. He explored Skyrim, exercised with VR games when he felt agitated, went to virtual movie screenings with friends, and created a snug little home theatre for himself so he could drift off to sleep at night.
You can check out the excellent documentary on his week in VR below, or you can head to his Twitch and watch him screw around in real time. The latter isn’t that interesting after the first few minutes to be honest, since it’s really just someone wondering around with a headset on.
Jak later shared on Twitter that his first 24 hours getting back in touch with the real world were pretty successful. He reported no eye strain or headaches, and reintegration overall was pretty smooth.
As Jak says:
I have never appreciated the smell of outside air so much. One thing we can’t replicate is nature. We can do it visually, but there’s something about the energy of outside that is amazing.
24 Hours outside of Virtual Reality:
– No Eye Strain/Headaches
– Re-integrating has been smooth
– Nature is wonderful 🌿 pic.twitter.com/Js4ABsGgt9
— jak (@JakWilmot) February 28, 2019
I guess the moral of the story is that a life in virtual reality would actually be possible today if you really wanted to do it, but a headset isn’t quite a suitable substitute for actual nature just yet.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.