From an immersion in the cosmos to browsing genomes, virtual reality is set to change everything – but not in the ways you might think

How virtual reality will take us deeper into the real world

Nowhere to turn: feeling present in virtual reality is far from easy (Image: Peter Earl McCollough/The New York Times/Redux /eyevine)

THEY will tell you, the artists and engineers who work with this gear, that virtual realities are digital environmental simulations, accessed through wearable interfaces, and made realistic – or realistic enough – to steal us away from the real world.

I can attest to that. After several days sampling some of the latest virtual environments available in the UK, I found that reality righted itself rather slowly.

Along the way, however, I came across a question that seemed to get to the heart of things. It was posed by Peter Saville, prime mover of Manchester’s uber-famous Factory Records, and physicist Brian Cox. They explained to an audience during Manchester’s International Festival how they planned to fit the story of the universe on to sound stages better known …

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