Augmented Reality’s First Step Forward Might Be More Blue Collar Than You Think

By Daniel Faggella

Augmented reality remains limited in its day-to-day applications for most consumers. If you mention “augmented reality” on the street, people think about scanning their favorite magazine with their smartphone, and having a coupon or 3D image pop up. This hasn’t exactly been a “game-changer” for brands or marketers in most industries, but some AR company leaders believe that the first area of real penetration of the functional use of AR will be more “blue collar” than most people expect.

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Are you ready for the virtual reality revolution?

Twenty years after its potential was discussed, virtual reality has finally arrived, with headsets such as Google Cardboard offering a taste of its possibilities. Here, we trace VR's advances – and explore how it helps war veterans

By Kadhim Shubber

My body is in the Observer's offices in King's Cross, but my mind is in another world entirely.

Strapped to my head is the Google Cardboard virtual reality headset. Assembled from a handful of simple components, the cardboard contraption has whisked me away into a peaceful forest with red, orange and brown trees.

I am completely alone, except for an grey animated rat chasing after a large orange hat. I turn my head to watch as a gust of wind blows the hat and can't help but stumble after the rodent, arms outstretched like a toddler taking its first steps.

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Virtual Reality Is Being Used to Treat Heroin Addiction

By Jordan Pearson

Sometimes the only way to beat your demons is to face them, even if it’s in a simulated reality.

To help people overcome drug addiction, researchers at the University of Houston’s Graduate School of Social Work are building hyper-realistic virtual worlds to recreate situations that trigger cravings for nicotine, alcohol, weed, and now, hard drugs like heroin.

Traditional relapse therapy usually involves roleplaying: Therapists often pretend to be a friend or some other familiar person and offer the patient their drug of choice in order to teach them avoidance strategies. 

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