Top 20 VR Experiences on the Oculus Rift
The Future of Virtual Reality
The future of virtual reality (VR) will transform the real world through these 20 simulated scenarios.
The worlds these devices will recreate and the journeys we'll go on will be vast and unprecedented.
Virtual reality is no longer fiction, it's the new reality.
So let's explore 20 scenarios that await us and other simulations we'll soon experience.
20. Roller Coaster Simulator
Ride a Roller Coaster
The Oculus has already showcased what it would feel like to experience a roller coaster thrill ride, but future models will completely immerse you into this fearsome experience.
You'll hear the sounds and your body will feel the sensations of the breathtaking chase that comes with a coaster.
- Each terrifying dive and loop will make it feel like you're at a theme park.
The best part is that they'll be no lines, no wait, and no fees. You can go on the ride anytime and each trip will feel genuine and authentic.
Prepare for the thrill of a lifetime and (CAUTION) watch out for motion sickness.
Jump off a Plane
Skydiving is a shocking thrill, but the costs and dangers are too much for most people.
However with virtual reality you can jump from 10,000+ feet and sense the wind rushing through your body—risk free.
Individuals can also witness the sights including the clouds, sloping terrain, and the beauty of a scenic landscape. Hopefully you have your virtual parachute ready otherwise you might fear that nasty fall to the ground.
The good news is that you won't have to worry about a chute malfunction because a fall from this fictional reality will not cause you harm in the real world.
But believe me, the threat will feel very lifelike.
18. Surfing Lessons
Surfing is a combination of the fun of water and style without the perils that come with it.
This situation will be challenging, fun, and give your life energy and excitement. If you want to include hazardous objects or massive waves, then you'll be able to do so with ease.
I wouldn't recommend adding obstacles because every motion, good or bad, will be perpetuated within the VR user's mind.
However if you want a challenge then go for it and become a professional surfer with a scenario most wave lovers could only dream of.
17. Mission to Mars
The Mars One
Despite Elon Musk's manned missions to mars being planned, the prospects of returning home are nonexistent.
Luckily for you that doesn't have to happen. You can view the red planet, step onto its surface, and explore its surroundings without becoming trapped there for life.
This scenario could diverge in multiple ways with one showing a full beginning to end schema beginning with the rocket launch, the travel through space, and the eventual landing.
The other framework might only focus on the planet itself like in the novel and/or powerful movie "The Martian".
So why explore a fictional Mars?
Because who knows what you'll encounter along with way, and that's what makes this scenario exhilarating and unexpected.
16. Snowboarding and Skiing
Fun in the Snow
Are you a fan of winter sports but will never have the opportunity to ski or snowboard?
Well not anymore because one scenario you'll witness in virtual reality will be the cold abyss.
You could experience the cold, the slopes, and perform various tricks to perfect your snow and ice skills. Don't worry about hitting a tree or running off a cliff either.
Even better is having the option to choose any mountain in the world to ski/snowboard on including Mt. Everest or perhaps your own creation.
The weather outside won't matter, your location doesn't matter, and your state of health won't matter because with virtual reality you'll be able enjoy something you might never have been able to.
15. Airplane Simulator
Your First Plane Ride
This could be a very healthy and helpful experience for those that have never been on a plane or have an intense fear of flying.
It could serve as a powerful learning tool for psychologists and therapists who deal with people with severe anxiety related to plane travel.
Nothing will prepare you more than a realistic simulation of being on a plane, having it takeoff, go through the turbulence, and finally having the plane land.
It may not be as exciting as the other choices on this list, but it'll be worth it for those that struggle with flying.
14. Horror Games
Immersive Horror Games
Virtual reality was initially developed for the purpose of enhancing the video game experience, and it has finally achieved graphical perfection.
Audiences have complained for years about the lack of a horror experience, but now you'll be able to live out a terrifying fantasy in either a haunted house, an abandoned cemetery, or any horror setting of your choosing (either through a game or your own pick).
You'll be the star of your own horror game, so much so, that it'll feel like a movie.
You will feel the fear in front of your eyes and never complain about the lack of a real horror experience again.
13. You'll See Dead People
Meeting the Deceased
Imagine meeting a beloved family member or friend that passed away.
While this scenario might seem more far'fetched than the others, it'll eventually be possible to talk to and interact with someone you have lost.
The repercussions could be both healing and damaging because of the warped sense of reality. The danger is that the immersion may skew reality, but it shouldn't be a major problem at first.
Over time as the immersive technology improves, a person's psyche will be tested.
I wouldn't be surprised if someday mental health checks became commonplace prior to engagement in the fictional world.
12. Driving School
Another simple but useful possibility is a driving simulator.
Granted there are already plenty of available simulators for new drivers with some used for training purposes, but many are not readily accessible.
The driving simulator could also be an interactive, gaming experience for anyone willing to drive through various terrains at high speeds through different obstacles in numerous locations.
Also new and different would be the vehicle you are driving because it doesn't have to be a car.
You'll be able to customize your own vehicles, and they may range from a smart car to a tank if that's your preference.
11. Vacations to Go
Probably one of the best scenarios any working adult could envision is taking a nice vacation to a calm, peaceful destination.
Imagine coming home after a long day of work and instantly go to someplace warm, serene, beautiful, and relaxing.
Virtual reality could take you to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and anywhere else in the world you wish to take part.
Would you like to lay in the sand and watch the waves—No Problem! Would you like to go for a nice swim—Go Right Ahead!
Relieve stress and choose the best place to get away. It won't cost you a dime, you don't have to take time off from work, and it'll be available in minutes.
What more could you want?
10. Career Simulator
Plan Your Career
Have you ever wanted to live out your lifelong dream job?
Eventually you'll be able to dive deep into your childhood and pull out the career choice you've always wanted.
It could be anything you've ever desired, and it could serve as an important learning tool for your current job/career.
You'll learn new skills, tasks, and responsibilities that you'll use or pass down to others who are interested.
It won't be just a fantasy career choice, but a selection that will better you and everyone else around you.
It'll be a fantastic tool for younger generations who are confused about what career to pursue after graduating. What better method than to try out a few job choices and figure out what they really want to do.
It will be a time and money saver for students and adults as education costs continue to skyrocket.
9. Mountain Climbing
Climb a Mountain
Not a lot of people have the stamina and courage to scale a mountain, but that'll no longer be an issue.
Feel accomplished and live out a dream by scaling some of tallest mountains in the world. Make it even more challenging by using real world obstacles and weather events to play a role in the climb.
You'll never have to worry about an unfortunate accident, and even if it happens, you'll be out of harm's way.
Unfortunately the problem with virtual reality and the person using it is that the lines of realism might become so blurred that the user won't know what's real and what isn't.
For tasks such as mountain climbing, a blurred reality could pose a problem.
8. Scuba Dive Underwater
Fun Beneath the Sea
There's plenty of activities to do in the water—this time try undersea or scuba diving.
Educate yourself on the scuba equipment, the oxygen tank, and on proper swimming techniques (another simulation possibility).
Include the natural underwater world that would exist in reality. Utilize the sea life, the coral reefs, and all the other magic that's available under the sea.
Remember that some of those beautiful creatures (especially the coral reefs) may be gone one day, but thankfully you'll always have the opportunity to see them with virtual reality.
7. Exotic Pet Ownership
Own Any Pet
Own a dog, cat, bird, fish, or an alligator (why not?). If you want to live out your eccentric pet/animal experience, then go right ahead.
There's no mess, no fuss, and you can't go to jail.
You can be a kind owner to your pet or a cruel dictator if you want to live out your Michael Vick fantasy (sorry PETA). It's okay though because you're not actually hurting real animals.
I'd prefer being a kind owner personally, and I would care for and admire my dog or exotic pet.
It would be quite incredible having a tiger or riding an elephant outside your home (even if it wasn't real).
6. Earthquake Simulator
Experience a Real Earthquake
Earthquakes are horrible as we've seen in Nepal, but what makes these earth shakers so deadly?
You could see a movie like "San Andreas" and witness a fictional account of a massive earthquake or you could try it out for yourself.
An earthquake simulation through virtual reality will be a useful tool for emergency management and locals living in highly active seismic zones.
They'll be able to see just how powerful a quake is and what it's really like being in the middle of a deadly tremor.
With such tools we may see more widespread, stronger building codes and an awareness of such disasters.
5. Rocket Launch
Witness a Launch
Ever wanted to feel like an astronaut? How about experiencing what it really feels like to be strapped inside a rocket ship getting ready for take-off.
Once the technology is able to be fully immersive, you'll be able to feel exactly what today's astronauts go through when launching into space.
Maybe you could opt-in for some training before taking off, but I doubt it'll help much in the VR world.
It'll not only be a fun-filled experience, but a fantastic way for real astronauts in training to tango with an exact sensationalized replica of a rocket launch.
Perhaps some space travelers will think twice before deployment.
4. Walk Into the Woods
Not every VR scenario has to be a thrill ride for the participant.
The greatest gift of virtual reality will be enabling those who are handicapped, disabled, or suffer from a mental disability with opportunities they would've never had otherwise.
The simple act of a peaceful walk through the park will be a terrific way to spread joy to those less fortunate.
It may not be the real world, but it will be the closest thing to it, and I see many nursing homes taking advantage of this equipment to give the elderly and sick hope.
Fully immersive virtual reality will have few boundaries, and the benefits cannot be understated for a huge group of aging and ailing seniors.
3. The Eating Challenge
Junk Food Without the Fat
The best part about virtual pizza is that you can smell it, you can taste it, you can eat it, but you will never gain any weight afterwards.
It's not something a lot of people would think about but we all love food, and how awesome would it be to eat whatever we wanted and not have to worry about the "after effects".
- No stomach ache, no heartburn, and no weight gain—Sign me up!
For an overweight country, there's a lot to gain from this and little to lose.
For example, if you're struggling with your diet, then just pop on your virtual reality helmet, select the all you can eat option and enjoy.
2. Go on a Cruise
Go on a relaxing cruise whenever you want.
The glide through the waters should be enough to get your motor running. The calm, serene skies and the sky blue sea should bring relaxation and pleasant dreams.
- We might just put entire cruise lines out of business.
You can go alone or bring company, but regardless, the scenery will be spectacular and nature will be abuzz with sea life.
If you're lucky, then you'll be able to see dolphins or orcas jumping from the water below.
Boating will never be the same and nothing will feel more freeing and cheaper than a VR cruise.
1. Virtual Sims
Welcome to the Sims
The Sims gaming series brought our reality into the gaming world, but it allowed us to customize our characters, develop our own relationships, and create different lives.
Well with VR we'll take things one step further except this time we'll place ourselves in a "Sim" like world. You can develop your own relationships, go through the married life, start a family, and live a life entirely opposite of your own.
However you can't fall into the trap of this pseudo world because you may lose the real you and the people around you.
Virtual reality is going to be amazing, but the dangers of a fully immersive virtual world can be dangerous for some.
The possibility of isolation and the loss of the "real you" is a threat as technology evolves and becomes fully immersive.
They'll have to be safeguards in place to avoid the worst case scenarios because we can never be too careful.