5 Future Applications of Virtual Reality

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Most people associate VR with the gaming community, but it seems obvious that this technology can have multiple applications. The most significant future of VR applications is likely to more than just entertainment, and it is no longer a secret that VR has the potential to influence daily life. Companies have already began thinking of the applications of VR beyond gaming. Besides entertainment, VR technology is now being adopted as a business tool in various industries – something that has dramatically changed how people think about their work.

VR technology is popular in the entertainment industry as it takes people to places they can’t go physically. In business, the importance of VR is its ability to simulate real-life situations, and using the experiences of viewers to draw new data. The set of data produced by VR is then used to develop training methods, new models, communication and interaction with customers. In many ways, the possibilities are endless.

How do I know if VR is right for my organization? To answer this question, you need to apply VR into existing business processes such a training, product development and sales. The only stumbling blocks are cost, time and technological limitations but all this are set to change in future.

Are There Companies Already Using VR?

Yes. VR holds an enormous potential to transform and drive the future of a number of fields, from manufacturing, education, architecture, banking, business to health care. UPS, for instance, is utilizing VR to train their employees (delivery drivers) how to correctly deal with dangerous road conditions. IKEA, on the other hand, uses VR to display new products to their customers to make them understand their products and services better. More and more organizations are turning to VR to hold virtual conferences in a bid to cut travel costs.

Is VR mainstream yet?

It may seem hard to believe, but VR has been around for over 30 years. The single most impediment to VR technology becoming mainstream was high development cost. VR found its initial application in the military aircraft field. Despite the technological advancements, VR applications are still in their infancy.

Oculus Rift set the tone for the VR industry at a crucial time when the technology had started to look more of a fantasy than a reality. Big names like Google, Microsoft and Samsung later joined the VR bandwagon to address this challenge by introducing newer models at affordable rates. The increasing consumer applications has made companies to go above and beyond to spark VR’s mainstream adoption.

More and more people are adopting VR as it has started becoming affordable. There are also various VR applications that could fundamentally shape different industries. We are just a few years away from widespread acceptance. The growing application of VR in the workplace continues to raise demand for VR headsets. Each headset provides users with a different level of experience across the reality spectrum. The VR devices of the future will provide well-designed, accessible and personalized experiences.

So how close are we to mass adoption? VR is showing some effective industry use-cases, from tourism applications to real estate. A recent study pointed out that 80 percent of millennials are willing to use VR in the workplace, and a whopping 52 percent believe that VR applications would enhance productivity. A VR trends survey by Jabil stated that 69 percent of respondents believed that VR would become mainstream within 4-5 years. All this statistics shows a bright future for VR.

  1. Education

The Education sector is one of the industries that doesn’t shy from adopting new technology. VR will work hand in hand with the existing teaching techniques and improve them. Studies show that students learning using VR retain whatever they’ve learnt more deeply and for extended periods than those who use conventional leaning methods. VR We live in a generation where learning isn’t restricted to prescribed textbooks. Visual learning has taken over and VR can bring the curriculum to life, from elementary school to university level. Kids can be taken to virtual field trips and learn how different concepts work. VR can also be used to prepare college students to face the challenges of the real world. By testing and honing college students’ skills in the virtual world, they will be better prepared to handle whatever life gives them. Some businesses have adopted this model for better employment training.

  1. Health Care and Medicine

From a potential financial and social impact, pain management and physical therapy represent two of the most significant VR applications in Health Care. Research shows that VR can be effective in pain mitigation. Regarded as a viable alternative to opioids for pain relief, VR will change how medical practitioners think about treating pain. This development could have significant ramifications for other players in the medical industry, notably pharmaceutical companies.

Surgery is another field in medicine where VR can be effective. Look at it this way: it’s safer and better for trainee surgeons to perfect their skills on things other than real people who have left their bodies to medical science. VR can provide accurately modelled and fully interactive specimens with different conditions that need surgery to be operated on via a VR interface.

  1. Journalism and Media Dissemination

VR technology has given rise to a new mode of storytelling that is touted to play a major role in the future of journalism. Immersive content will affect how journalists tell their stories and how readers consume news. In the future, the production and consumption of 3D content will become commonplace in various newsrooms around the world. Some reputable, big-name journalistic outlets like The New York Times and The Guardian are already toying the idea by experimenting with VR content. There is already a Guardian VR app and a NYTVR app, both of which let readers access VR journalistic content. VR will have implications on the type of topics and content readers will be immersed in, to minimizing the editorial control these publications will have.

  1. Virtual Shops/Showrooms

VR will absolutely transform the e-commerce industry. Most online shoppers admit that one of the shortcomings of online shopping is lacking the excitement of walking around the store to window shop before deciding what to buy. Luckily, VR can fill this gap. With a VR headset, you can be transported to a customized shop with a whole aisle full of your personal favorite products from your favorite brands. You can try on different styles and colors of clothing in virtual dressing rooms.

  1. Fashion

This may sound crazy and far-fetched, but VR will be integrated into fashion stores in future. In future 3D avatars (virtual humans) will help design clothes and there will be VR software for building virtual fashion stores. Fashion shows will be in the form of 4D holograms and 3D projected models glamming up the runway.

Conclusion

Many folks may be familiar with the term Virtual Reality but only a section of them know about the applications of this revolutionary technology. VR roots may be in gaming, but there are a whole host of uses of VR that can make a significant impact on our collective futures. The technology’s application as a business tool possesses amazing implications in different industries. This post has only scratched the surface of what VR is potentially capable of. With the current applications of VR still being realized and improved, VR is doubt a burgeoning industry.

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