Virtual Reality (VR) has enabled a legally blind UK man named Jamie Soar to see. Soar’s experience demonstrates the promise that VR holds for people with disabilities.
Soar was able to experience VR for the first time using an HTC Vive Virtual Reality headset at a PC World computer store in London. VR overcame the vision problems that Soar was used to. The headset uses special lenses to create a sense of depth in space. In reality though the screens are right in front of the viewers eyeballs. Soar’s double vision was counteracted by the dual screen of the Vive headset.
VR doesn’t just open up new possibilities for the visually impaired. VR could give people whose mobility is impaired, either due to physical or psychological conditions, the ability to explore new environments. A recent study conducted by the University of Texas showed that VR could assist autistic individuals with their ability to interact in social situations, through virtual reality role playing.
While in the near future the most common uses for VR will likely to be gaming and entertainment, it is a technology that promises even more life changing potential.