Virtual reality has been touted for a long time to become the next big thing but it hasn’t quite made the cut, now did it? Back in the 80s, we saw vector graphics and some displays, which were sort of unconvincing. In the 90s came bulky headsets which lagged visuals. For some reason, whatever was being released didn’t live up to the hype of VR until now.
This round of VR is much more than a fad. Breakthroughs are happening in display technologies, motion tracking, and many other applications. Who knows that time may come soon when we can test Cox WIFI plans in the virtual world to get a feel of what we are really getting!
Oculus, Valve, PlayStation, and HTC are producing immersive and memorable experiences that are finally compelling consumers and businesses to take VR seriously. The most popular VR applications today take control over the senses of the user to produce a fully immersive experience that takes the user in a fully virtual environment that feels realistic. Let’s take a look at how VR is making a breakthrough in different industries:
Education and Training
Several startups and established organizations offer bundled experiences and services geared at schools. Virtual reality is already making significant inroads into education. Facebook, HTC, and the European Commission all use the Engage platform to facilitate remote learning. It is VR driven platform is trusted by fortune 500 companies worldwide. It’s being used as an alternative to video-based communications.
According to research released in 2019, medical students who were trained using virtual reality were able to do some procedures faster and more accurately than their classmates who were trained using traditional methods. A VR technology that is making waves in medical training is Teslasuit. It is a full-body suit that offers haptic feedback and several biometric sensors to measure the perspiration level heart rate and other indicators of stress. This is being used in astronaut training in NASA and its use is expected to expand.
Imagine being able to try out your vacation before purchasing it. I am sure many of you have tried this feature already. The hotel, restaurant, and tourist attraction industries are taking the initial steps toward allowing visitors to take guided virtual tours of their establishments.
The ‘Try Before You Fly’ VR experience, by Thomas Cook changed the whole booking experience of users. It allowed potential holidaymakers to experience the vacation in virtual reality before booking it. Bookings for New York excursions increased by 190 percent when visitors tried a 5-minute VR version of the vacation.
Another VR revolution in tourism is Google Expeditions. It allows people of different ages and backgrounds to explore coral reefs or the surface of Mars from the comfort of their own homes. You don’t even have to leave your couch for that!
Many aspects of our working lives have changed during the epidemic, including the widespread adoption of remote working. This new change brought forward several issues, including the need to maintain an environment that encourages cooperative work and developing company culture. Fortunately, VR-based solutions are rapidly gaining traction as a means of addressing these issues.
In March 2020, Spatial, which is basically the VR version of Zoom, experienced a 1,000 percent growth in usage of their platform. According to ARtillery Intelligence’s research, the market for VR business equipment is expected to rise from $829 million in 2018 to $4.26 billion by 2023.
Ericsson, the company that provided Oculus VR headsets to remote employees for VR meetings during the pandemic hinted about the Internet of Success. This involves creating projects that simulate touch, taste, and smell, as well as feelings like hot and cold. By 2030, it is predicted that we will be able to enter digital landscapes that appear entirely real to all 5 senses at the same time. Wouldn’t that be cool?
VR didn’t seize to surprise us when it comes to socializing. VR Chat, Altspace VR, and Rec Room are some VR-based social services that allow friends or strangers to meet up and chat or play in virtual worlds.
Facebook, which has long been interested in virtual reality thanks to its acquisition of headset maker Oculus, debuted its Horizon platform this year. This platform lets people create and share collaborative online environments where they can hang out, play games, or collaborate on projects. It is currently in beta.
While we will always make time to meet with our friends in person, school and work have gone remote, social interactions will likely transform digitally as well. We will have more meaningful ways of connecting with others.
Gaming and Entertainment
It’s one of those industries in which VR technology shines the most. The reason gaming technology is progressing at such a rapid speed is because people are willing and eager to pay top dollar for an immersive entertainment experience.
The popular name in the VR industry, Sandbox, runs real-world VR centers where entertainment seekers can experience equipment that would be impractical or expensive to use in their homes. They offer 5 games, one of which is licensed from the giant franchise Star Trek. You can battle in groups or individually in the space. The players have to wear full-body haptic feedback suits for that.
It makes sense to say there may be two markets for VR entertainment. While the most immersive and spectacular technology is large, expensive, and requires technical expertise to operate, it is more feasible to deliver it in designated venues (like Sandbox) than at home. For now, movies will provide something less amazing at least until we get to the stage where we can have full-size Star Trek holodecks at home!
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that VR has touched every industry we know of and now, it’s advancing to leave the tech-savvy consumers of today spellbound by its power!