To many people, Virtual Reality is synonymous with video games. Whenever Virtual Reality is mentioned, many people only think of video game and how the introduction of this technology into gaming has changed the gaming industry for good.
Recent events, however, has disputed the exclusive application of Virtual Reality to gaming. What are the other areas of application of Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality holds huge potential for impacting the world positively in the future. Its areas of application cover the following:
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- Sports betting
Virtual reality also plays a vital role in the recent growth of the sports betting industry. With the launching of SlotsMillion in 2015 by ALEA, players can take a trip round a virtual casino that is built in a futuristic city.
The technology allows players to choose an avatar and embark on a virtual exploration of the environment, interact with users from across the globe. They can also make a selection from a couple of slots and “experience the buzz of a big win with an explosion of 3D graphics raining down on them from specific slots,” according to an article, “VR is a smart bet for the future of gambling.”
The wide application of virtual reality is a proof that the technology is more than just exclusively for video games. As the technology advances, it is expected that it will spread its tentacle to other areas.
- Health care
Pain and anxiety are two of the discouraging factors behind people’s reluctance to visit a dentist for their tooth-related problems. The introduction of Virtual Reality may help dentists to assist their patients eliminate their anxiety and reduce their pains. The technology may be leveraged to distract the patient from what he or she is going through by creating attractive scenery for the patient to focus on while the dentist does his or her job.
Virtual-reality simulations have also found its way into the healthcare industry. By using this technology, 3D models of a patient’s anatomy has been developed by Surgical Theater and Conquer Mobile, a software company, to assist surgeons to determine the best and safest way to perform surgical incisions, locate tumors, or perform difficult procedures and thus prevent serious complications.
- Military training
The military can also feel the impact of virtual reality. The US military has been using this technology for training their soldiers before their deployment. The military has been using the Unity 3D and Battlespace 2 for preparing troops for combat.
These noncommercial games simulate real-life situations that soldiers will come across in the line of duty and are thus trained in preparation for these challenges in the future. The simulations make it possible for teams to train together and perfect their skills in replicated environments prior to having to train with real tactical equipment.
- Automotive industry
For decades, car manufacturers have found an effective manufacturing tool in high-tech simulations. This technology is applied to car designing and virtual prototypes prior to the manufacturing process.
Ford Motor Company, the foremost automaker in the world, makes extensive use of Oculus Rift. With the assistance of this technology, it has been able to control the development of automobiles from the design through the manufacturing stages.
With the assistance of the virtual prototype, engineers and designers can easily carry out an extensive inspection of an automobile and identify potential problems that can be nipped in the bud.
Car engineers can also use the technology to test a car and measure its safety in a virtual setting prior to mass-producing them. The use of this technology is not limited to the building process alone. Giant car companies have been using virtual reality to promote sales by letting potential customers have a feel of the car’s performance by test-driving them with a VR headset. Big companies like Volvo, Ford, and Hyundai have been using this marketing technique for some time.
- Employee training
Virtual Reality has also become an effective employee-training tool. High-end stores, malls, and others can use the technology to simulate real-life situations during training. For instance, employees can be trained to handle rush hours by simulating such scenario during training and prepare the trainees how to effectively handle such a challenge in real life.
Walmart is one of the chain stores that have introduced the technology into employee training. The company partnered with STRIVR, a virtual reality startup, to prepare its employees for the challenges they may face on the job.
Virtual Reality technology has the potential to change how shopping is done for good. Although the larger percentage of the world’s population is familiar with online shopping, the creation of virtual-reality apps such as Trillenium can have a lasting positive impact on shopping.
This app and others like it will take a potential shopper through a virtual tour of a store before making a purchase. So, without leaving the comfort of your home, you can have a virtual idea of the content of an online store and make your shopping decision based on the information provided by the technology.
In an article titled “Virtual reality is taking over the video game industry” Nick Statt submitted that “The applications for VR, too, have expanded beyond games and into film, sports, education, and health care.” He is perfectly right. There is more to VR than video games. The future of the virtual reality technology is bright as it promises to expand its horizon and extend its application to other areas of human endeavor.
- For planning your next vacation
The application of virtual reality to the tourism industry is another area we should look into. This technology allows potential visitors to a city or tourist attraction center to have a preview of their location before embarking on the trip.
Before booking your next trip, you can observe a hotel, destination, city, or wherever you want to visit in advance and have a glimpse of what it has to offer. A UK mall gave its customers a view of New York City by taking them through a simulated helicopter flight around the city. Some customers were even taken on a simulated boat ride to see the popular Statue of Liberty.
- To assist businesses
Large businesses and corporations can also take advantage of this technology to improve their decision makings. According to Entrepreneur, an online business magazine, employing VR in business will have tons of positive impacts such as reduction in cost and business travel.
Business meetings or conferences can easily be done via virtual conference rooms. The same applies to interviewing a candidate. That can be done remotely through virtual reality.