From AR to VR: Meet a Latina who is Breaking the Virtual Ceiling

Virtual and augmented reality have probably taken over your news feed. Both technologies, which provide ways in which humans interact with objects and places in such a way that it feels real, have redefined gaming and promise to play a key role in different industries, including healthcare, education, and travel. Pokemon Go, the augmented reality based game that has pretty much everyone playing, has redefined and motivated other companies like Porsche to try it for quality control efforts. Some Samsung models  already include virtual reality glasses: Samsung Gear VR.

Somewhere in Florida, a Latina is fully immersed in the virtual and augmented reality ecosystems, studying every update, trying every available headset and participating as on virtual reality at conferences, like the most recent VR Fest Mx held in Mexico. She is also watching VR movies, sharing with her fans on Facebook all relevant information about this technology because she is anticipating this technology is going mainstream sooner rather than later.

Cathy Hackl, a well-known live video influencer is also a VR evangelist and founder of Latinos in VR/AR. This Costa Rican-American spends part of her days studying these technologies, particularly how they will change social media, impact different industries, and even promote social change.

“Companies like Apple are slowly moving in this direction, specifically think about the new iPhone 7 dual camera and how that’s related to augmented reality. Also, there virtual and augmented reality will impact storytelling, journalism, and even our daily lives. It’s something big and I can’t wait for it to immerse on the lives of everyone around,” she added.

Cathy is also part of the ERASE Child Trafficking VR documentary team. This documentary is being produced by Zeality and VR Salon and will help raise awareness about child trafficking in America. The project, started by Ryan A. Bell will use virtual reality for social good.

VR Will Impact Social Media

There was a strong rumor suggesting that popular app Snapchat will diversify and join the game, after some reports showed that Snapchat had acquired Vergence Labs, a company that supposedly is developing a device similar to Google Glass. Snap Inc., formerly known as Snapchat, has finally released its first hardware product: Spectacles. This will change the social media game, as other platforms will be forced to move into this tech ecosystem that seeks to enhance experiences.

“Mark Zuckerberg said it best. VR will be the most social platform,” highlighter Hackl. “We will move away from having VR be a one person experience to being a social one. You can already participate in social VR in programs like AltSpaceVR.”

Industries Already Using VR in Successful Case Studies One of the industries which will change because virtual reality is real estate, as the technology will make it possible for people to do walkthroughs of the properties they want to rent or buy that will feel very close to real. Most people based their decision to rent or buy on how they feel at the place. One can only imagine having that experience, while having dinner at a restaurant on the other side of the world. Whether this will change the role of the real estate agent is yet to be seen.

Virtual reality is transforming the travel industry, making the world more accessible to everyone. Bloomberg calls it advertising on steroids. Virtual reality has opened up doors to help people pick their next travel destination and choice of hotel. Hospitality companies such as Marriott have taken full advantage of VR by incorporating it in its “Travel Brilliantly” campaign. Their campaign allows potential customers to view their facilities and amenities.The cool thing about virtual reality is that it does not replace people’s desire to travel the world and offers more realistic expectations of where they are going.

She concluded “I tell my friends who work in VR that we are part pioneer part cowboy. This is the wild wild west of what VR will become and we’re riding this bull into the future.”

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