Travel to international destinations -- and Mars, and space -- from your living room
OK, the technology to "visit" tourist hotspots around the globe using a headset like the Oculus Rift is already here. But that's nothing compared to what's coming next. "What's even more exciting is not just world travel, but universe travel -- traveling to Mars," said Medich. It seems totally plausible -- we have data from the Mars rover, and if indeed Elon Musk and SpaceX make it to the Red Planet by 2018, there will be more than enough data to get a complete picture of the surface. "I highly doubt that I’ll ever be able to walk on Mars, but with VR I can get a visceral sense of being there, even though I don't have the constraints of a special respirator or suit."
Indeed, VR will feel so real, it will effectively imprint a memory into your mind that we were actually there. Medich explained that we use our visual senses to activate 85% of our innate cognitive ability -- or in other words, what we're seeing at any given moment determines our perception of reality, and our brains automatically fill in the gaps to make it feel as if we're viscerally present. "You can feel as if you’re traveling to Venice, or Sierra Leone, or Mars. Your brain will create spatial memories the same way as if you had physically been there, which is pretty remarkable."