How far can VR go? Everyday we see new and different ways of using VR in our daily lives, but Oculus Rift is taking it to a whole new level. They recently released the Fall in Love VR project, from Tool of North America. This new project aims to show how natural-language processing in virtual reality can create a real sense of intimacy.
Kevin Cornish, the director of “Fall in Love VR” states that “users will confront the question of whether it’s possible to experience intimacy with an avatar by sitting across from one of five photo-realistic actors and, one by one, asking many of Aron’s questions off prompt cards. Out loud.”
Even though it seems that this project will be a two-way conversation, it actually isn’t. The whole experience is about you asking questions to the avatar, and them answering. Initially, the idea was that avatars would be able to ask questions to the users also, but that it was rapidly abandoned because while performing tests, Tool found it let to a little of discomfort amongst them. The company decided then to limit the functionality to asking questions to the avatars and having them respond, and created the most realistic experience possible.
Building intimacy through Virtual Reality
The experience recreates the “The 36 Questions That Lead To Love” from the 2015 New York Times article. Its creators state that through these the users can create a sense of intimacy with the avatar, just by asking these specific questions and being answered directly. Cornish says that “is this premise that the thing that creates human bonds is not the words we say to each other, but the act of conversation.” The experience is so real, that users get vulnerable just my looking through the Oculus and talking to an avatar.
The question now is “where next?”. Where is VR going to be present in our daily routines if it already reached the way we communicate? I’m sure in the next few years we will keep being be impressed by its rapid evolution and the creation of new ways of interacting.