Many people just think virtual reality is just for games, but, in fact, VR can be used for many other purposes. This technology is a very great invention in our modern life, and it is now involving in many fields of life or many industries. The followings are some key applications of VR in the life.
Yes, of course, gaming is a big industry that virtual reality can be used in. When It comes to VR, most of us will think of VR games immediately. At the moment, applications for VR games might be the hottest thing in the market now. Many companies are now focusing on and investing lots into developing great VR games.
“The use of graphics, sound and input technology in video games can be incorporated into VR. Several Virtual Reality head mounted displays (HMD) were released for gaming during the early-mid 1990s. These included the Virtual Boy developed by Nintendo, the iGlasses developed by Virtual I-O, the Cybermaxx developed by Victormaxx and the VFX1 Headgear developed by Forte Technologies. Other modern examples of narrow VR for gaming include the Wii Remote, the Kinect, and the PlayStation Move/PlayStation Eye, all of which track and send motion input of the players to the game console somewhat accurately.
Several companies are working on a new generation of VR headsets: Oculus Rift is a head-mounted display for gaming purposes developed by Oculus VR, an American technology company that was acquired for US$2 billion by Facebook in 2014. One of its rivals was named by Sony as PlayStation VR (codenamed Morpheus), which requires a PS4 instead of a PC to run. In 2015, Valve Corporation announced their partnership with HTC to make a VR headset capable of tracking the exact position of its user in a 4.5 by 4.5 meters area, the HTC Vive.
All these virtual reality headsets are tethered headsets that use special curved lenses to magnify and stretch a 5.7-inch screen (in the case of Morpheus) across the field of vision. There are more gaming VR headsets in development, each with its own special abilities. StarVR offers a 210° field of view, whereas FOVE tracks the position of your eyes as an input method.” – Wikipedia.
VR game is hot, but the use of VR in other forms of entertainment is also hot. At the moment, theater audiences can enjoy 3D movies, but with some apps (like Oculus Cinema), people can be sinked deeply into their movies experiences.
With a head mounted display, people can enjoy their favorite movies with a huge virtual screen, but still very personal and private. With this technology, people even watch as if they were inside the movies and surrounded by the imagery and sound effects.
Not only for movies, people also can enjoy the thrill of game day experiences with your friends, right from the comfort of your couch with a virtual stadium. “Similarly, virtual reality can also transport users to a Cirque du Soleil performance, or a Coldplay concert as shot by the virtual reality filming company Next VR,minus all the rowdy fans.”- Live Science.
In entertainment industry, we also see that tourism has been on board with virtual reality. People now can enjoy many landscapes as they were there. Of course, there are still some limitations with this, such as people cannot enjoy the wind of those places.
Virtual reality has been adopted for teaching and learning situation in some schools now. VR enables large groups of students to interact with each other and within a three dimensional environment.
With VR technology, students can approach complex data in an accessible way that is both fun and easy to learn. Besides, these student can interact with the objects in that environment in order to discover more about them.
Another big adopter of VR tech is the health care industry. Particularly, people will use computer-generated images for diagnosis and treatment. “Virtual-reality simulations, such as those created by software companies Surgical Theaterand Conquer Mobile, use actual diagnostic images from CAT scans or ultrasounds to construct 3D models of a patient’s anatomy. The virtual models help both new and experienced surgeons determine the safest and most efficient way to locate tumors, place surgical incisions or practice difficult procedures ahead of time.” - Live Science.
Virtual reality is also applied as a cost-effective and engaging tool for rehabilitation. “Stroke and brain injury victims across Europe can now use an immersive virtual-reality therapy created by MindMazeto regain motor and cognitive function faster than with traditional physical therapy, according to the company. The virtual exercises and real-time feedback in MindMaze are made to feel like games, helping to motivate patients to practice everyday activities.”- Live Science.
Duke University with a year-long study discorverd that virtual reality can bring huge benefits for paralegics. Specifically, when paralegic patients wearing VR headsets were tasked to move through a stadium as a soccor player, they were able to regain some brain functions that are associated with moving their legs. The test was done with eight patients, each of them regained some control and four were upgraded from full paralegics to partial paralegics.
5. Mental health and meditation
Virtual reality is also a good tool that doctors use to treat those who experience more debilitating stress, including PTSD, and panic disorders or phobias. Before using VR technology, doctors treat the nearly 8 million adults, who suffer from PTSD a year, with “exposure therapy”. This therapy pushes the patients to recount their traumas, visualize it in their imaginations and explain to the doctor what is happening as they experiece the stressful scenario. Besides, for mental heal, VR also bring new ways to help people pass over the anxiety or help people with autism to develop their social skills.
Meditation is also an adopter of virtual realyt tech, since users can find their happy place and become immersed in one of four relaxing environments. The meditation experience can reduce stress and anxiety from daily life, according to research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Shopping online is now very popular over the world, but virtual shopping will be a next step. With online shopping, people just can see the photos of the products and then choose to buy at home. However, virtual shopping allows buyers can be immersed in a virtual shop and then choose products, and get a real-time shopping experience and even shop with their friends.
In the market, now we can see an app named Trilleniumcould that allows people to do that. The app has already attracted the attention of one of Europe’s biggest online retailers, ASOS. Meanwhile, in Asia, Alibaba is also running its own project for virtual shopping, that is named Buy Plus.
Not only the above applications, VR tech still can bring huge benefits for other industries, such as automotive manufacturing, space, museums, courtrooms and even military. VR tech is really a big thing in our modern life and we all can get many benefits from it.