A big problem with virtual reality is cost: a fully immersive set up such as a CAVE where someone is able to interact with objects in an enclosed space is expensive. In fact it’s that expensive that only university research departments and companies with a research and development (R & D) section are able to afford this type of set up.
Us mere mortals have to make do with a semi-immersive set up such as a pair of virtual reality glasses, low cost data glove and games console. But if it is the experience you want then this is a perfectly good way of doing so. But don’t expect the full, head mounted display (HMD), input device and high end graphics experience which usually comes with high end systems only.
But like most forms of technology, the price starts to come down which is usually due to affordable components and products becoming smaller and more accessible. As more of them become available this also drives down the price which places them within the reach of many more people than before.
There is talk about using nanotechnology as a means of allowing us to push beyond the boundaries of the human body and enter into the digital world. You would become one with the virtual environment. Your brain would be uploaded into a computer system or network which would mean immortality but how much of this is science fiction rather than hard facts?
Just to bring things back to the present: the reality at the moment is new advances in gaming technology which makes full use of virtual reality. This will hopefully lead to new types of games which push the boundaries as well as generating new experiences.
So who knows? You might be able to afford that all encompassing CAVE virtual reality system one day but you had better start saving…