Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English

  • from BBC Learning English.

  • I’m Sam.

  • And I’m Neil.

  • On Saturday mornings I love going

  • to watch football in the park.

  • The problem is when it’s cold and

  • rainy - I look out the bedroom window

  • and go straight back to bed!

  • Well, instead of going to the park, why

  • not bring the park to you? Imagine

  • watching a live version of the

  • football match at home in the warm,

  • with friends. Sound good, Sam?

  • Sounds great! – but how can I be in

  • two places at once? Is there some

  • amazing invention to do that?

  • There might be, Sam - and it could

  • be happening sooner than you think,

  • thanks to developments in VR, or

  • virtual reality. According to Facebook

  • boss, Mark Zuckerberg, in the future

  • well all spend much of our time

  • living and working in themetaverse’ – a

  • series of virtual worlds.

  • Virtual reality is a topic weve discussed

  • before at 6 Minute English. But when

  • Facebook announced that it was

  • hiring ten thousand new workers

  • to develop VR for themetaverse’, we

  • thought it was time for another look.

  • Is this programme, well be hearing two

  • different opinions on themetaverse

  • and how it might shape the future.

  • But first I have a question for you, Neil.

  • According to a 2021 survey by

  • gaming company, Thrive Analytics, what

  • percentage of people who try virtual

  • reality once want to try it again? Is it:

  • a) 9 percent?

  • b) 49 percent? or,

  • c) 79 percent?

  • I guess with VR you either love it

  • or hate it, so I’ll say b) 49 percent of

  • people want to try it again.

  • OK, I’ll reveal the correct answer

  • later in the programme. But what

  • Neil said is true: people tend to either

  • love virtual reality or hate it.

  • Somebody who loves it is

  • Emma Ridderstad, CEO of Warpin’, a

  • company which develops

  • VR technology.

  • Here she is telling BBC World

  • Service programme, Tech Tent, her

  • vision of the future:

  • In ten years, everything that you

  • do on your phone today, you will

  • do in 3-D, through your classes

  • for example. You will be able to do

  • your shopping, you will be able to

  • meet your friends, you will be able

  • to work remotely with whomever

  • you want, you will be able to share

  • digital spaces, share music, share

  • art, share projects in digital spaces

  • between each other. And you will also

  • be able to integrate the digital objects

  • in your physical world, making the

  • world much more phygital than

  • is it today.

  • Virtual reality creates 3-D, or

  • three-dimensional experiences where

  • objects have the three dimensions of

  • length, width and height. This makes

  • them look lifelike and solid, not

  • two-dimensional and flat.

  • Emma says that in the future VR will

  • mix digital objects and physical

  • objects to create exciting new

  • experienceslike staying home to

  • watch the same football match

  • that is simultaneously happening in

  • the park. She blends the words

  • physicalanddigitalto make a new

  • word describing this

  • combination: phygital.

  • But while a ‘phygitalfuture sounds

  • like paradise to some, others are

  • more scepticalthey doubt that

  • VR will come true or be useful.

  • One such sceptic is technology

  • innovator, Dr Nicola Millard. For one

  • thing, she doesn’t like wearing a

  • VR headsetthe heavy helmet and

  • glasses that create virtual reality

  • for the wearersomething she

  • explained to BBC World Service’s,

  • Tech Tent:

  • There are some basic things to

  • think about. So, how do we

  • access it? So, the reason, sort of,

  • social networks took off was, weve

  • got mobile technologies that let

  • us use it. Now, obviously one of

  • the barriers can be that VR or AR

  • headsets - so VR, I’ve always been

  • slightly sceptical about. I’ve called

  • itvomity realityfor a while because,

  • frankly, I usually need a bucket

  • somewhere close if youve got a

  • headset on meand also, do I want

  • to spend vast amounts of time in

  • those rather unwieldy headsets?

  • Now, I know theyre talking AR as

  • well and obviously that does not

  • necessarily need a headset, but I

  • think were seeing some quite

  • immersive environments coming

  • out at the moment as well.

  • Nicola called VRvomity reality

  • because wearing a headset makes

  • her feel sick, maybe because it’s

  • so unwieldydifficult to move or

  • wear because it’s big and heavy.

  • She also makes a difference

  • between VR - virtual reality- and AR,

  • which stands for augmented

  • realitytech which adds to the

  • ordinary physical world by

  • projecting virtual words, pictures

  • and characters, usually by wearing

  • glasses or with a mobile phone.

  • While virtual reality replaces what

  • you hear and see, augmented

  • reality adds to it. Both VR and AR

  • are immersive experiencesthey

  • stimulate your senses and surround

  • you so that you feel completely

  • involved in the experience.

  • In fact, the experience feels so real

  • that people keep coming back

  • for more.

  • Right! In my question I asked

  • Neil how many people who try

  • VR for the first time want to try

  • it again.

  • I guessed it was about half

  • 49 percent. Was I right?

  • You werewrong, I’m afraid.

  • The correct answer is much

  • higher - 79 percent of people

  • would give VR another try.

  • I suppose because the experience

  • was so immersivestimulating,

  • surrounding and realistic.

  • Ok, A, let’s recap the other

  • vocabulary from this programme

  • on themetaverse’, a kind of

  • augmented realityreality which

  • is enhanced or added to

  • by technology.

  • 3-D objects have three

  • dimensions, making them

  • appear real and solid.

  • Phygital is an invented word

  • which combines the features of

  • physicalanddigitalworlds.

  • A sceptical person is doubtful

  • about something.

  • And finally, unwieldy means

  • difficult to move or carry because

  • it’s so big and heavy.

  • That’s our six minutes up, in this

  • reality anyway. See you in the

  • metaversesoon!

  • Goodbye!

  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English

  • from BBC Learning English.

  • I’m Neil.