Virtual reality, or VR, is the next big thing. The technology is making its way into a surprising number of industries, from entertainment to healthcare and education. VR allows the user to explore a virtual environment, generated by a computer. Some surprising industries are beginning to embrace VR technology.
Gaming is a great fit for the new VR technology. Many game studios are finding lots of ways to embrace VR to make games more immersive. Whether you play on PC or the HTC Vive, you can find everything from family games to immersive horror games.
The technology involved goes beyond the classic VR headset too. Some studios are playing with wraparound display screens and VR rooms with treadmill floors, devices to give a tactile experience and even pumped in scents.
If you want to try a VR game, try some from this list of the best VR games for HTC Vive.
Some companies have begun to introduce VR exercises as part of their recruitment process. In the future, we might even see VR environments replace assessment days, saving time and money for both recruiters and candidates.
Several VR companies have already begun to change the way we watch live sport. Many large sports leagues, such as the NBA and the NFL are being broadcast on mobile VR for a live sports viewing experience. BT Sport have begun to use 360 degree VR allowing you to watch a game from anywhere in the stadium.
VR could also be used in training for athletes, allowing them to hone their skills without risk of injury, alongside their regular training.
Art And Design
VR allows an artist to work with their art in a completely different way. Not only can you make life-size artwork, but you can be in it. Whether you want to step inside your painting to create an unusual perspective, or you want to make virtual 3D models and sculptures, virtual reality can really help.
Events And Conferences
VR allows people to be in a place virtually. This works well for events and conferences, as people can attend events without the need to travel, saving them time and money. It also allows event organisers to have far more people in attendance than the physical space would allow.
For example, recent uses of this technology for events include a 360 degree recording of a Paul McCartney concert, and the Mobile World Congress in 2016, where attendees wore headsets for the launch ceremony of the new Samsung phones.
Wellness and meditation are becoming more popular, so it’s not a surprise that VR is being used here too. VR apps are coming onto the market that enable users to immerse themselves in a meditation space. Guided Meditation VR surrounds the user with 360 degree beautiful images and soothing music, while the user follows a guided meditation.
Online socialising has been popular with for awhile, with online RPG games and life simulators. VR is making these games even more realistic, with Oculus Rooms, VRChat and Altspace. Altpsace is proving popular; they hold regular meetups on a theme for users to interact in a realistic environment.
VR can be used as a clever tool to evoke empathy in the user. This makes VR a very valuable tool for charities, as they can use it to increase their understanding of an issue. If someone is immersed in a situation they may otherwise struggle to relate to, they will be better able to empathise and may be moved to action.
Marketing is increasingly beginning to focus on how a campaign makes a customer feel. Using VR is an obvious way to make this easier. Many companies are already embracing VR to make immersive, memorable advertisements for big campaigns, like launches and Christmas campaigns.
Universities can also use VR to market to potential students. They can create a virtual tour of the campus, allowing more students to see it, who may otherwise struggle to arrange a visit. In America, Princeton, Yale and Columbia have already begun to try this out.
Many hobbies that can be enjoyed in real life can also be enjoyed in a VR environment. The immersive experience can be even more enjoyable, and makes the hobby accessible. For example, if you enjoy museums, but don’t live near one you’d love to visit, you can take a VR tour around some favourites, like the Natural History Museum in London. There are even VR theme parks opening, and some companies are beginning to experiment with methods of immersive story-telling.
Both the military and police forces are using VR tools to train their personnel. They can create simulated situations that allow their people to see, hear and feel different experiences, from gunfire noise to weapon firing recoil. This is obviously far safer for the early stages of training.
For police forces, these interactions can be escalated or de-escalated in individual training scenarios, allowing trainees to learn to make different judgement calls and decisions while under extreme stress. Training in VR also allows those delivering training to monitor the trainees very closely, which can improve training in the future and the hiring process.
News And Journalism
News stories and documentaries can now be watched in VR. Some media outlets, such as The New York Times, have already started using VR, and more will surely follow. The New York Times has a VR app, where you can experience stories instead of just reading or listening to them. You can feel as though you’re standing opposite the journalist while the story is going on.
Virtual reality technology is becoming more and more common in all kinds of industries. VR allows for a much more immersive experience, making it ideal for study, recreation and entertainment. Whether it’s virtual tours of the human brain for biology students, or allowing parties of school children to virtually explore an art gallery without the cost of the trip, VR has a lot of options for improving our lives in a lot of ways.