Technological innovations have transformed how we perceive ourselves, our lives, and our interrelationships with others. Electronic devices have digitized much of our waking reality. The average person spends 8 hours and 41 minutes on electronic devices, 20 minutes more than the average sleep time. More time is spent checking emails than eating breakfast. Outdoor activities have been supplanted with gaming and other digitized experiences. Artificial Intelligence will exponentially expand the growing chasm already existing between Humanity and Nature. Our last tangible hope of maintaining our fundamental connection to Nature, as surprising as it may sound is via digital technology. The immersive experiential format of VR facilitates the synthesis of Nature’s essence into today’s evolving digital landscape. Scientific studies substantiate that a credible illusion of Nature can replicate the inspirational and curative effects one would experience while being within Nature. Integrating Natures essence into a Virtual Reality video format may prove to be the only palatable solution for a distasteful future with the disappearance of wild areas, as we continue to embed ourselves deeper within the digital landscape. It seems outlandishly incongruous to propose such an idea, but the reality is, technology will continue to become more integrated into every aspect of our lives as our natural environment continues to vanish.
Humanity has evolved throughout time by living in harmony with Nature. Nature is our source of life, inspiration, beauty, and much more. Industrialization and Urban-Sprawl are a recent phenomenon on our evolutionary journey. The role our environment plays in our daily lives is of the utmost importance. How we relate to our jobs, our families the people we encounter, and most importantly ourselves. There is no doubt that a direct correlation between our physical and mental well-being is strongly connected to our overall environment, and more importantly, to our immediate surroundings. Humankind is genetically-wired to exist in Nature’s landscape. Research substantiates that not only do we feel better when we frequent Nature, but it is detrimental to our fundamental well-being when we ignore this essential connection. Nature is the source and means of finding a balance that helps us to create a sense of equilibrium beneficial to our physiological, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Why do we frequent Nature far less today than 50-100 years ago? The sprawling urban landscape, for the most part, has replaced much of the natural environments we once had nearby our homes and small towns with concrete and buildings. The possibility of comfortably reaching the countryside or beaches has become less obtainable due to time constraints, increased travel distances, complicated lifestyles, and monetary costs.
The explosion in digital technology that we have so willingly embraced is superficially filling the void that Natures grandeur once held for us. Now is the time to consider new means of reincorporating Nature into our lifestyles, not as a replacement but as an alternative until we can make our next great escape out of the environs of the city back to NATURE. Due to numerous constraints, many today are unable to frequent Nature often, subsequently resulting in a broad-spectrum of disharmonic feelings such as frustration, stress, and alienation, resulting in myriad forms of suffering. The expanding gulf between humanity and Nature can be bridged by the very source that has augmented the chasm created by the digital revolution.
Virtual Reality technology is today’s doorway into immersive experiential content. The visual content we consume, as much as the foods we eat impacts our lives on many levels. Virtual Reality can now provide us the extraordinary possibility of providing an all-inclusive immersive experience wherever our physical location may be. The credible reality that envelopes us when experiencing Virtual Reality effects, the body-mind as if one were physically in the great outdoors. In some cases, the results can be even more powerful than actually being in Nature. VR is designed to create an all-encompassing experiential illusion of reality, by removing the viewer’s psyche from the immediate environment and replacing it with a believable alternative. Scientific research substantiates that the credible illusion of Nature will simulate the inspirational and curative effects one would experience while being in the outdoors. Virtual Reality content can reconnect us to Nature with the absence of mosquitos, hungry bears, and inclement weather resulting in lowered stress levels while increasing well-being.
When a doctor prescribes medicine i.e. 4 pills every 24 hours for 7 days the desired effects will not be gotten in one day. Curative remedies need time to do their just work. Nature-VR-Content should be prescribed in a similar method as a medical doctor for it to have the desired result. Example: Use your VR-headset to view prescriptive Nature-based content 4 times a day minimum, 5 minutes each time, turn up the sound, and include aromatherapy. Follow your VR-therapy for at least the next 10 days and continue the rest of your life if possible. The innovation of integrating Natures into a digital landscape will provide Humanity the opportunity of experiencing being outside in Nature while sitting at their office desks, home or for that matter almost anywhere they may find themselves. There is no doubt that our hopes, dreams, and future are intrinsically entwined within the ever-evolving digital landscape. Let us make the best of it we can!