From the Oculus Rift to Google Glass, virtual reality is one of today's hottest topics in science and technology. The possibilities for education, therapy, and recreation are as endless as the one's imagination -- but can virtual reality affect our biology?
This was the question the Cap City Biohackers sought to collectively answer on June 16. A group of 20 students, tech buffs, and tinkerers gathered at the Columbus Idea Foundry for a wide-ranging lecture on virtual reality and the opportunity to try the tech themselves before a group discussion on the biological implications.
The lecture and demonstration, led by Adam Sauer and Nick Lolopulos, covered the history of virtual reality, the ways in which it's currently used, and potential future applications. Of particular note are the possibilities for medical training and autism therapy. Virtual reality allows its users to encounter situation after situation in a lifelike setting to test current skills and refine new skills (both social and technical) in a way that has been nearly impossible up to this point.
Cap City Biohackers then got the chance to play a variety of virtual reality games, spanning the gamut from building 3D art to swinging from tree branches in the jungle to playing fetch with a virtual robot dog. Surprisingly, no members were interested in playing the game that subjects the user to thousands of spiders for arachnophobia therapy.
Interested in seeing technology up close and personal? Check out our events page to RSVP for our next event!