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Virtual Travel and Drones: Is Digital Teleportation the New Tourism?

woman with virtual reality goggles

Most everyone has become quite accustomed to using Google Maps and Google Earth to navigate their environments. The 360-degree views these image applications offer are nothing short of stunning compared to visual access decades ago. But even today, a rising demand for more instantaneous live images exist. From military missions to first responders to the average consumer, many want to be transported via technology. For those in the field, this has become known as “live delivery” – or digital teleportation.

girl flying on a virtual reality drone
Virtual Reality Travel — globetrotting from your couch may be possible soon.

Live delivery, in essence, is a form of virtual reality travel made possible by hi-tech drones. Virtual reality drones provide immediate feedback of visual images to its user who is likely miles away. Using a headset, goggles, and a controller, the user is able to visually experience environments remote from their location. Notably, this has many advantages in terms of surveillance and first responses in emergency situations. But obstacles still remain presently as do some concerns. But like it or not, it will be merely a matter of time before virtual reality drones and virtual reality travel exist.

Modern Virtual Reality Drone Technologies

For the vast majority of the world, there is a limit to the capacity for virtual reality drones to exist. This is not because virtual reality drones cannot transit images and data from remote locations to a user. Instead, the limitations involve the amount of visual data and the inherent delay of transmission. Most of this is hindered by existing wireless networks that rely on the cloud for transmissions of data. However, 5G networks (short for 5th generation) are just now emerging, and which is likely to revolutionize the field.

Currently, there are limits to live virtual reality travel around the globe. Xtend, an Israeli company, is responsible for the Skyland drone system that is used by surveillance teams in the Gaza area. This system is able to provide 180-degrees of visual data helping soldiers avoid on-site monitoring of explosives. Other companies, like Tampa-based Immertec and Seattle-based Pyrus Medical, offer virtual reality travel in medical settings. These include surgical procedures in operative suites as well as other procedures using VR catheters.

Notably, these uses of virtual reality drones and virtual reality travel exist in situations where benefits and risks are quite high. Other instances also would naturally invite such uses, but the technology remains limited in this regard thus far. For one, drones are not equipped with chips that adequate processing speeds for such quantities of data. The chips required would be excessively heavy and weigh drones down. Likewise, sufficient battery power is also lacking in many drones, which poses additional problems. But by far, the biggest issue remains a networking one. And that is where 5G networks offer a strong solution.

5G Networks – The Next Disruptive Technology

To provide some concept of 5G networks, these connections will permit data transfer rates 100 times faster than current 4G networks. Overall, the estimate is that 30 percent of the population will be using 5G networks by 2025. This is important because we will finally start to realize the Internet of Things (IoT) as all devices can interact quickly using 5G. For this reason, the estimate points to the IoT will reach $50 billion in value by 2030. And this disruptive technology has tremendous repercussions in terms of virtual reality drones and virtual reality travel.

The reason that this is important for virtual reality drones and live delivery is the network’s capacity to transmit data. Data will then be able to transfer in large bandwidths at record speeds. This is naturally important for visual data and images, which contain large volumes of data. And as a result, individuals will be able to experience remote settings as if they’re there in real time. Unlike traditional virtual reality, this will represent a “live” virtual reality travel experience. And by using virtual reality drones, the capacity for users to experience the world remotely in real time will be unprecedented.

The Reality of Virtual Reality Travel in the Future

The potential for virtual reality travel certainly sounds exciting and fascinating. The ability to explore or witness events around the globe live through virtual reality drones would be fascinating. And certainly, this could promote better human safety in a number of situations. But at the same time, virtual reality travel, as well as the IoT, would invite additional security and privacy concerns. In essence, all devices and drones would exist on a public 5G network in order for virtual reality travel to exist. And this means no intermediaries or gateways that often serve as hindrances to unwanted access. These are issues that experts will need to address sooner or later.

Based on the current predictions related to 5G networks and the IoT, virtual reality drones and digital teleportation will happen. It is not a matter of if, but instead, when. As a result, the opportunity for individuals to experience live events remotely via virtual reality drones will become commonplace. And certainly, many new businesses and offerings will emerge as these virtual reality travel experiences evolve. But these developments are not without their set of precautions. The regulation and management of virtual reality drones and the IoT will have a significant impact on our daily lives. But one thing is for certain. The remote visual images provided by the Google car will definitely be a thing of the past.

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