Getting into the Game
Virtual Reality (VR), once the stuff of science fiction, has finally arrived, and it has already begun disrupting the landscape and offering promises of an exciting future. As the technology expands, it will have wide-reaching implications for many industries such as healthcare, travel, public safety, shopping, and entertainment to name a few.
One of the most popular VR technologies already available is gaming. The industry is seeing companies like Facebook, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and Google all enter the market. With the backing of firms likes these, the possibilities of virtual gaming are endless. New VR technologies are coming to life, putting users onstage with their favorite musician, on a cliff in Vietnam, or even into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
Are You Not Entertained?
An article by LiveScience highlights that Virtual Reality isn’t just for gaming– it has numerous potential applications across many different forms of entertainment. We can already see movies in 3D, but what if you were standing in the room with the actors? Oculus Cinema is working towards immersing viewers into the movie experience. The possibilities go much further than the cinema. Imagine sitting in floor seats at the NBA Finals or joining in on the atmosphere of a Manchester City match without leaving home. An article by Forbes Tech notes that LiveLike VR has built a virtual stadium so that viewers can one day enjoy an immersive viewing experience with their friends. Next VR is filming musical and performance concerts, such as Coldplay and Cirque du Soleil, to place the viewer inside the venue for their enjoyment. During Fashion Week in London, VR technology by Oculus allowed viewers to have a front row view of the catwalk. Tourism could change forever as well. Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly collaboration with Oculus can already virtually transport someone to Hawaii. Imagine walking along the Hawaiian beaches, or touring the Louvre in Paris and the Parthenon in Athens from your smartphone.
VR for Healthcare
Virtual Reality technology may have the most meaningful applications when applied to Healthcare. Surgical Theater and Conquer Mobile are companies that use CAT scans to construct 3D models of real patients. This allows surgeons to practice and strategize on the exact anatomy before a difficult procedure. Other applications could include physical therapy, phobia treatment, medical school education, and better diagnostic tools. VR technology is revolutionizing healthcare by making procedures safer and allowing for treatments that were once thought impossible.
Other Thought-Inspiring Applications
The ability to simulate experiences will come in handy for a number of professions. Military, Police, and Fire Departments will gain access to countless preparatory training scenarios. Athletes will be able to adjust their strategies and form depending on the in-game situations they wish to simulate. Architects, Engineers, and Lab Scientists will be able to create virtual models that can be easily manipulated and understood. Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with the Oculus Rift, has already begun exploring this technology in order to study every flaw in an automotive design long before it has been fully manufactured. In a Forbes article, Ted Spies is quoted saying that events and trade shows will go virtual to cut costs of transporting large displays while still providing an immersive and effective experience.
VR can also be used to aid the legal system, re-creating a crime scene or version of events that could help detectives or jurors conceptualize a crime. While there are many more potential uses for this technology, one of the most commonly used in forthcoming years could come in the form of virtual shopping. A VR application called Trillenium seeks to provide a virtual tour of an entire store, where consumers can shop with their friends in a real-time shopping experience.
Virtual Reality is one of the next big waves to transform our lives. With firms like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft dedicated to the technology, the experts are predicting incredible results.