How I took Hawaii and Tyrannosaurus Rex home in the back of my Volvo.
Virtual reality is the future of “computing and communicating” says Mark Zuckerberg. Easy for him to say but much harder for this 48-year-old mom to understand. What I want to know is if I can escape my cabin fever and the icy grey igloo by slipping on some headgear. Fifteen million people watch Jackspeticeyeand Markiplieron YouTube as they critique new technology and video games; but all I have is flashbacks of dust collecting on my Atari 2600. It was touted as the imminent future of technology but it was a bubble of hype that never delivered. Will the Virtual Reality PC turn out to be another spider web of electrical cords that engulf my television? I have enough consoles that I could use them for stepladders. What if VR will just add to the clutter? At this point I’d do anything to escape the tundra of dirty snow around me.
I slipped off to Best Buy. The Oculus Rifthas a salesperson that opens the kiosk and makes sure you sign a waiver so he can catch you if you fall over. I slipped on the Oculus Headset and was transported into a three dimensional apartment. Complete with a fireplace, cozy couches, throw pillows, and a stainless steel kitchen, I was only missing my glass of wine. This was the “store;” the space and place I order games, download, and update by clicking a button on the side of my headset.
I flashed back to memories of my viewfinder about dinosaurs and European cities. One click of my finger and the world changed. The new difference was the sensation engulfing my body and mind, not just playing tricks on my eyes. The first world I entered brought me to the edge of a skyscraper. I gasped and reached out for fear of falling. I hadn’t been that scared since my first acid trip. My pulse quickened.
An alien came up in front of me and mimicked all my movements. We made faces at one another and I tried to touch her fingers. This exceeded every edge of my seat moment watching E.T. fly across the moon.
I was transported into a museum hallway and heard footsteps. Vibrations, soared through my body as Tyrannosaurus Rex came around the corner. He eyed me closely and started sweating and breathing heavier. When he was standing over me drooling, ready to pounce, he let out a roar! My fight instinct ignited, and I roared back loud and ferocious.
My salesperson tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I’d like to play a game. Being from the “Pong” generation the salesperson suggested Proton Pulse.
I became the paddle flinging huge ping-pong balls back into space to save the earth. To bring my pulse down I tried a meditation moment and was transported into soothing waves splashing against pristine caves at my Hawaiian Oasis.
When I removed the headset I was astonished that I had gathered a large crowd who were laughing and cheering me on. Strangers witnessed my growling at T-Rex, dancing with the Alien and splintering Ping-Pong balls into space.
They had enjoyed playing with me, watching my experience on flat screen. Similar to the experience of being hypnotized on stage by a magician, only one-person experiences it-but the entire audience enjoys it.
The future is encompassed in a set of goggles smaller than I wear snorkeling. Now we skip going to horror movies, whip out our paddles and save the earth playing Space Pong. What I experienced amid the Oculus Rift surged into my spine and ignited primal reactions in a safe environment and then gave me a soothing breath for my anxious cabin fever.
Andes Hruby is ConciergeQ's Fitness Correspondent and resident 'Fit Guru'. Look for fit fun from Andes, who has appeared on NBC Connecticut, owned Studio Blue, and now also serves as the retreat coordinator for Manu Retreats, a luxury resort and yoga retreat in Costa Rica.