Above: Dean Takahashi using the Oculus Rift VR headset with Oculus Touch. Virtual reality (VR) has a great deal of potential for the betterment of society – whether it be inspiring social change or training surgeons for delicate medical procedures.

But as with all new technologies, we should also be aware of any potential ethical concerns that could emerge as social problems further down the line. Here I list just a few issues that should undoubtedly be considered before we forge ahead in optimism.

When we think of virtual reality, we automatically conjure images of clunky headsets covering the eyes — and often the ears — of users in order to create a fully immersive experience. There are also VR gloves and a growing range of other accessories and attachments.

Though the resultant feel might be hyper-realistic, we should also be concerned for people using these in the home — especially alone. Having limited access to sense data leaves users vulnerable to accidents, home invasions, and any other misfortunes that can come of being totally distracted.

There’s a lot of debate around whether VR is socially isolating. On the one hand, the whole experience takes place within a single user’s field-of-vision, excluding others from physically participating alongside them. Read more from venturebeat.com…

thumbnail courtesy of venturebeat.com