Virtual Reality: Things you should know

With Virtual Reality being the current buzzword here’s an easy guide to the technology

Virtual Reality is defined as a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings. This environment is accessed through a device known as a Virtual Reality headset or helmet. There are 3 categories of virtual reality simulations used at present: non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully immersive simulations. The goal of VR is to provide human beings with a virtual environment where we can interact with a computer with real-life inputs, that is, by talking with a virtual human in a spoken language, writing a letter, or drawing a picture.

What are the different types of Virtual Reality?

Non-Immersive Virtual Reality: This category is the most common form of VR simulation. Non-immersive VR technology uses a computer-generated virtual environment with the user aware and controlled by their physical environment. Video games are a prime example of non-immersive VR. Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality: This form of VR simulation provides an experience partially based in a virtual environment. This type of VR is used for educational and training purposes and is supported by graphical computing and large projector systems, such as flight simulators for pilot trainees. Fully Immersive Virtual Reality: Presently, there are no completely immersive VR technologies, but soon due to the advancements of the computing speeds and better graphics this would be a reality. This type of VR generates real life simulation experience and uses sights, sounds and even olfactory sensations to build a make believe virtual environment . Car racing games are prime examples of immersive virtual reality that gives the user the sensation of speed and driving skills. Though developed for gaming and other entertainment purposes, use of VR in other sectors is increasing every day.

Industries using Virtual Reality

1. Healthcare and Virtual Reality

The most significant way of VR impacting healthcare is by training. VR facilitates an environment to learn and grow without real-world situations. With VR, surgeons who need to perform very precise operations can train without being in the midst of an emergency. And practitioners who need to get accustomed with the hospital environment can do so without the real world stress situations The technology is also being used in cognitive behavior therapy where patients with phobias and anxieties work through their problems in a controlled environment.

2. Entertainment and Virtual Reality

The entertainment industry was one of the first to experiment with VR and still remains one of the finest examples of how it can be applied. Online and Console gaming, are the prime examples. Similarly, VR is being applied to cinemas and theme parks to simulate movie-like adventures which allow people to experience their favorite cinematographic moments.

3. Automotive and Virtual Reality

VR helps car manufacturers in analyzing road scenarios and the behavior of cars. The simulated situations allow them to analyze and correct the prototypes prior to developing new models. Another application of Virtual reality is in the development of smart cars which are being touted as the future of mobility. Cars can learn how to drive, turn, and stop using Artificial Intelligence (AR) and Virtual reality.

4. Education

Even though education is believed to be a rather slow industry to pick up new trends and technologies, VR has already shown a lot of promise. For business, it means that any industry can provide professional training to their employees. But for others, VR is part of educational games, field trips, and in general experiencing the world.

5. Space & Military

As these two industries have to operate through dangerous situations that can’t be easily accessed, VR provides a canvas for making things as close to reality as possible for training. VR enables trainees to go through training with minimum risks and even helps soldiers with battlefield trauma to minimize the agony and prepare for new or unexpected situations.

6. Architecture and Virtual Reality

Using VR, architects can not only envision what they’re building but understand how it feels as well. This allows them to experience the space before it is built and make real-time changes to deliver customer satisfaction.

7. Digital Marketing and Virtual Reality

Most people don’t like commercials but experiencing the use of a product close-up is entertaining and immersive experience. There are a variety of applications of VR in digital marketing. For example, retailers can show potential customers how a product will look in their home. Or NGO’s and political parties can create more compassionate and insightful messaging for political and general issues.

8. Occupational Safety and Virtual Reality

Occupational safety and health (OSH) is a concern for workplaces with machinery or natural hazards. Workplace dangers can be addressed in a simulated environment so workers can learn how to avoid them effectively without being hurt.

9. Social Science/Psychology and Virtual Reality

Much of this industry relies on VR so that a patient can emulate different persons or imagine reality from a different perspective .

10. Tourism and Virtual Reality

Trying a holiday before you actually buy one can increase conversions and close a deal without any human interference. You can go on virtual tours of exotic destinations, landmarks, restaurants, hotels and whatever else you may want to visit on your next vacation. This cancels the disappointment factor when you visit in real.