The Rise of Virtual Reality: Future of the Real World
Technological advancement has come to ages. At this moment in time, we are in the era of virtual reality when you can experience ANYTHING WITHOUT LIMITS! One day, all our imaginations will turn into reality.
A lot of people have heard about virtual reality, but do not exactly know what it means or how it works. Let’s dive deeper into this interesting topic!
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power.
Virtual Reality technology
Virtual Reality’s most immediately recognizable component is the head-mounted display (HMD). Human beings are visual creatures, and display technology is often the single biggest difference between immersive Virtual Reality systems and traditional user interfaces. For instance, CAVE automatic virtual environments actively display virtual content onto room-sized screens. While they are fun for people in universities and big labs, consumer and industrial wearables are the wild west.
With a multiplicity of emerging hardware and software options, the future of wearables is unfolding but yet unknown. Concepts such as the HTC Vive Pro Eye, Oculus Quest, and Playstation VR are leading the way, but there are also players like Google, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and others who may surprise the industry with new levels of immersion and usability. Whoever comes out ahead, the simplicity of buying a helmet-sized device that can work in a living room, office, or factory floor has made HMDs center stage when it comes to Virtual Reality technologies.
Now, we know the rise of virtual reality. This is something that is not just about gaming and entertainment. Here is the importance of VR across the different industries:
Virtual Reality in Different Fields
Healthcare is an important application where VR can have a significant impact. Healthcare professionals now use virtual models to prepare themselves for working on real bodies and VR has even been used as pain relief for burn injuries.
VR can also be used as a treatment for mental health issues, with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy thought to be particularly effective in the treatment of PTSD and anxiety. There are many other ways spending time in VR can have therapeutic benefits.
The problem with online shopping is that we can’t try on the clothes we want before we buy them, which results in us buying two sizes and sending one back, or ordering one size and praying it fits your shape and size. This could soon change with body-scanning technology in VR, which would allow us to try on clothes in the virtual world to see what they would look like in person.
Various companies are attempting to bring us the VR shopping experience, including the European retailer ASOS, which invested in software development company Trillenium.
And it’s not just fashion getting a makeover. Last year, eBay launched ‘the world’s first virtual reality department store’ in partnership with Australian retailer Myer. Is this the future of shopping?
Imagine being able to try your holiday before you buy it. That’s exactly what the future could hold. The industry is taking the first steps to enable you to go on guided virtual tours of hotels, restaurants, and tourist landmarks.
Thomas Cook launched the ‘Try Before You Fly’ VR experience in 2015, where potential holidaymakers visit stores in various countries to experience the holiday in VR before booking it. There was a 190% uplift in New York excursion bookings after people tried the 5-minute version of the holiday in VR.
Google Expeditions is another way tourism can become more accessible. Users can travel the world from the comfort of their own homes, allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to explore coral reefs or the surface of Mars.
Learning and Development
The L&D market is beginning to open up to VR, with companies such as VirtualSpeech providing VR training for soft skills. They combine VR apps with Web VR and work with companies to integrate their corporate training into current LMS. This makes training more accessible, cheaper and increases learning retention levels.
VR could revolutionize education by enabling students to learn in an immersive, experiential way. Universities have apps that allow users to take a tour of Ancient Rome, explore the human brain, and board the Titanic. ImmersiveVREducation is building a VR classroom/meeting room space with their ‘Engage’ product, where people can learn from lecturers around the world.
Art and design
With VR, you don’t just create life-size artwork – you can be in it. You can step into your image and come out the other side. The most well-known application for creating art in VR is Tiltbrush and it’s amazing what some people have managed to paint in it. You can also make virtual 3D models and sculptures with MasterpieceVR.
With the rise in the popularity of wellness and meditation, it’s not surprising that there are VR applications that enable users to immerse themselves in a meditative space. Guided Meditation VR is one of the most popular and surrounds the user with beautiful 360 images while they listen to soothing music and guided meditation.
There are several players already building social communities in the VR space, such as High Fidelity, vTime, AltspaceVR, Oculus Rooms and Parties, and VRChat. Altspace is one of the most popular and holds regular community-created meetups on topics from ‘Mingle and Chill’ to ‘Boss Monster’ to ‘Lia’s birthday drawing party’.
Many real-life hobbies are available in VR, and the immersive experience makes them all the more enjoyable and accessible. If you’re a fan of cultural activities, you can visit museums such as the Natural History Museum in London or, if you’re more of a thrill-seeker, there’s even a VR theme park opening in China. One of the more unique ways VR is being used is by Galatea, who provides a writing and narrative design management tool for immersive storytelling.
As with the military, police forces are using AR and VR tools from companies like VirTra to train personnel in simulated scenarios complete with visual, auditory, and physical stimuli (ranging from barking dogs and street noise to the recoil of discharging a weapon).
The technologies even enable police forces to escalate or de-escalate trainees’ simulated interactions with individuals inside the virtual training environments, helping learners practice making judgment calls and critical decisions under stress.
A group of University of Alabama researchers had collaborated with law enforcement officials to measure brain waves during VR police training. One of the lead researchers said the work may “improve the training of officers and positively affect the hiring process.”
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