The concept of virtual reality has shown huge potential in many industries that could weave itself into the fabric of our modern lives. But what is virtual reality? It is important to first understand the concept before we dive into how it is changing our modern landscape.
VR is an immersive technology that builds out a simulated environment and makes your brain effectively think that it is experiencing something that it is not. There are four different elements of virtual reality, and these separate it from other forms of technology like mixed reality and augmented reality.
The first element is a 3D-simulated environment which is an artificial environment that is rendered through a medium like a headset or a VR display. You can then have immersion which is an environment that is realistic enough where you can recreate a realistic universe to create a suspension of disbelief. The third element is sensory engagement which can include visual, audio, and haptic cues to make the environment more realistic with devices like gloves, hand controls, and headsets. The last element is realistic interactivity in which a virtual simulation responds to the user’s actions in a logical and realistic manner.
So, how is virtual reality changing different industries in the world?
Virtual reality can facilitate a better physician-patient relationship in both in-person and telehealth interactions. Doctors can explain a diagnosis by examining X-rays in an engaging manner directly with the patient using virtual reality technology. This manner will be easier to understand for patients since it has an interactive element. Virtual imaging can provide more accurate and better patient medical records. VR technology might help doctors to see the impact of certain procedures in real-time before they take any life-changing decisions.
Cinema and entertainment
Virtual reality is changing the entertainment scene as we know it. 66% of consumers are interested in VR for TV, movies, and video and this shows incredible potential for commercial VR growth. VR movies provide an expansive, sensory-filled experience that is more immersive which makes sense why movie-goers are looking eagerly at the future of technology.
Gaming is another area where VR is constantly increasing its impact. Virtual reality technology allows gamers to become the avatar instead of simply controlling it. VR gaming revenue is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2025. Virtual reality is also prominent is other aspects of gaming such as online gambling, with casinos investing heavily in creating the best mobile casinos for an inclusive experience for gamblers.
New virtual reality software is enabling users to visit museums and historical sites without having to leave their country, allowing them to save up on money while still visiting sites like Morocco or Greece. Take a virtual tour and it will seem like you are really there! This method also provides an efficient tool for educators to explore the world with their students.
Medical student training
Virtual reality and healthcare are carefully intertwined. VR assists health practitioners in rare and/or complex surgeries. Virtual reality allows surgeons to hone their surgical skills in a virtual simulation before performing the surgery on an actual patient. Medical students can perform virtual hands-on training with no risk with virtual reality.
Virtual window shopping allows you to browse your favorite stores and favorite promising items that have caught your eye so that you can revisit them later. VR shopping goes a step further by allowing shoppers to actually try on the clothes or remodel their houses using VR and creating a seamless shopping experience.