Regardless of the different ways of experiencing virtual reality (VR) that we are talking about, the applications that this technology can have are vast in different fields, from cultural to entertainment to education.
The development of virtual reality together with other technologies such as 5G will lead viewers to enjoy totally different experiences, for example, in the world of sports.
But it is not only from this perspective that leisure or entertainment changes thanks to this technology: it also serves as a tool for inclusivity.
Leisure and entertainment in virtual reality
Entering the video game scene or practicing risky sports from the sofa, as well as enjoying movies or series that intermingle reality and fiction are some of the possibilities offered by virtual reality in the field of entertainment.
However, not everyone can enjoy these technological advances to the fullest. Therefore, virtual reality can also be a tool that promotes and enhances inclusion and accessibility.
Virtual reality as a tool for inclusive entertainment
For both the elderly and those with sensory functional diversity, virtual reality also offers a window to immersive leisure.
Virtual reality for the elderly
In the specific case of the elderly, virtual reality is a useful tool, although it may be necessary to promote its use and participation in order to increase the level of awareness of this technology among this group.
For this reason, Meta and Telefónica have teamed up to collaborate and promote access to virtual reality and mixed reality for the elderly through Fundación Telefónica’s ‘Reconnected, technology has no age’ project.
Specifically, the initiative seeks to give accessible and personalized mixed reality experiences that can foster connection, entertainment and even learning.
Functionalities such as voice assistance and interaction, which assist people with motor impairments or reduced visibility, are some of the aspects that can help the enjoyment of immersive experiences. In this particular case through Meta Quest 3 devices that are easy to use and adaptable to the needs of the user profile.
As summarized by Chema Alonso, Chief Digital Officer of Telefónica, the operator has always been committed to ensuring access to technology and, therefore, “with this collaboration, we seek to maintain that commitment by making it easier for seniors to fully immerse themselves in virtual reality so that they can benefit from everything it can bring them and not be left out of the constantly evolving digital world.”
Virtual reality to build accessible immersive experiences
In a similar vein, a recent agreement between Telefónica and ONCE to build accessible immersive experiences focuses on three avenues of collaboration, one of them being precisely accessibility in virtual reality experiences.
One of the priorities is to promote research to find out what the user experience is like for people with blindness or low vision, what needs they have or what limitations they may encounter when using VR products and services.
Another way to help improve immersive experiences with virtual reality is the aggregation of more inclusive profiles, the incorporation of design principles that help to create more inclusive experiences or organize accessibility workshops that include people with visual impairment from the moment of the creation of the product or service in question.
Leisure and entertainment are not only going to take a leap in the benefits they offer thanks to virtual reality and the possibilities they offer to all users.
This technology will also make it possible for certain groups to fully enjoy its benefits.