Virtual reality as a medium is a breakthrough for all industries. Although popular with the entertainment industry, it has much broader applications that are both practical and profitable. These can include visualizing abstract data, building muscle memory for surgical procedures, and improving the advertising experience for customers. In the same way that computers are used for far more than simply playing games, VR is not exclusively for entertainment. For those who have not tried this technology before, it may not be clear how revolutionary it is. To put it simply, desktop and mobile VR provides a surprisingly immersive way to experience digital content. This may be exciting for entertainment, but it is also fruitful for other fields.
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Training and Simulation
Clearly, simulations have always played a large role in training pilots and military personnel. However, the advent of virtual reality has helped to make simulations more lifelike. Holding expensive machinery in a virtual environment, walking around a small space, and reacting to realistic visual stimuli are a few of the clear benefits of this technology. Better experiences ultimately result in better skills and training. Additionally, simulations in a virtual world may provide medical professionals with specialized training that is not always possible. From brain surgery to patient checkups, professionals can build muscle memory, practice as much as needed, and receive feedback after every action.
Another pragmatic advantage of this new technology is that it empowers students around the globe to learn in a more engaging environment. Instead of being stuck in the classroom, it’s possible to travel to a virtual environment to see and walk around the Ottoman Empire or to interact with dinosaurs face-to-face. For some students who don’t do well in traditional education settings, every lesson can become hands-on.
In addition, abstract concepts like molecular bonds and magnetic waves are no longer limited to textbook illustrations and classroom models. Interacting with objects that were once tiny and intangible is perfectly suited to a virtual and immersive environment. When it comes to visualizing data and helping students experience information in a concrete way, virtual reality is the superior technology.
The Corporate World
Beyond education and entertainment, VR continues to serve a concrete purpose for today’s businesses. According to an article by the Forbes Agency Council, virtual reality’s role in advertising can include anything from allowing customers to easily try a product to immersing the customer directly into a creative demonstration. Even low-cost head-mounted displays can provide a novel way to make an impact on customers. Likewise, Ginny Marvin with Marketing Land suggests that this tool may solve current problems with mobile advertising. Although the quality is low compared to high-end alternatives, Google Cardboard demonstrates it’s possible to make big changes to the world of business at relatively low costs.
In the end, it is clear that this technology has impacted a wide variety of industries and will continue to do so in the future. Whether related to entertainment or more practical pursuits, virtual reality offers new possibilities to how people experience the world, learn new things, and ultimately live life.