Applications of Virtual Reality in Today’s World
Although virtual reality (VR) technology is often associated with gaming, it is also used to enhance sales, improve learning, mimic travel, communicate, and more. The pandemic has pushed the usage of VR for remote work, social engagement, and virtual tourism.
Examples of Virtual Reality Use Cases
Virtual reality (VR) impacts industries ranging from tourism to medical, and it is a critical component of many corporate digital transformation programmes. For instance, a Statista article from November 2020 projects that business investments in industrial maintenance and training in the United States will total $4.1 billion by 2024.
According to futurist Baron, businesses will have numerous options to use virtual reality (VR) internally and externally for their clientele.
Baron shares her opinions on the following principal use cases:
- Training: One of the most prominent applications of VR in training is staff development. Although a headset is currently needed for this, it can also be completed on-site or at home. The ability to put a worker in another person’s shoes, whether a customer or a coworker, provides an exceptional experience that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. This will become a valuable tool in all business training as technology advances, even in scenarios requiring difficult choices. VR is useful in the classroom. Consider an immersive experience in science or history. We’ll continue to demand comprehensive learning experiences as technology develops and our attention spans shorten.
- Travel: Hotels can take you on tours of their facilities so you can understand what to expect. VR has potential for luxury travel (e.g., honeymoons or luxury resorts). Instead of watching an online video or perusing 2D images, the user would experience the location from their point of view.
- Real estate: To mimic living within a new complex, developers can go beyond 3D models. VR could be used in both residential and commercial settings. Additionally, co-working spaces can use virtual reality to place a potential renters inside the facility before they sign up.
- Healthcare: Patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers all have a variety of roles to play. Imagine utilizing VR to assist individuals who suffer from problems like anxiety or anorexia. It would be helpful for students to understand how to handle issues that may happen once they become doctors in medical school (empathy training, for example). Surgery training already uses virtual reality.
- Retail: By putting potential customers in locations where they can “try on” garments or other items, retailers can help them obtain a better understanding of how they interact with a given environment. For instance, a bride-to-be could try on a bridal gown and set it up like a natural wedding setting. In contrast to AR, which lets you remain in the present, VR enables you to leave it.
- Military: VR is a valuable tool in conflict simulations and similar situations. It can take the place of costly and occasionally risky real-world exercises. All military branches and the defence sector find it appealing due to the flexibility of the scenarios.
- Entertainment: Entertainment will change as a result of the availability of immersive experiences. Users and viewers will increasingly have the option to switch from a passive to an active state, thanks to gaming and Hollywood. Customers will engage with tales in a highly customized manner (should they wish to). There will always be fresh ways to connect with a game or movie when you may select your own POV.
Among other use cases:
- Architecture: VR can depict many significant detail levels in the early stages of design. To illustrate massing and spatial interactions, architects might construct an immersive experience. Another usage can demonstrate how light would impact the planned space based on window placement.
- Art: VR is a staple for fine artists who want to push the boundaries of their medium. Immersive experiential art forms are already a significant focus for multimedia artists worldwide. The Chalkroom, a film by Laurie Anderson, a pioneer since the 1970s, won the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
- Aviation: In training programmes that combine live instruction with virtual flight, commercial pilots are trained using realistic cockpits equipped with VR technology.
- Aerospace: Lockheed Martin uses virtual reality technology to construct its F-35 aircraft. Engineers increasingly utilize VR glasses for plane inspection in addition to design. Engineers can work up to 96 per cent accurately and 30 per cent more quickly, thanks to VR.
- Conference Rooms: Users put on a headset replicating a conference space, replete with participants and furnishings. Users can control their digital self and use gestures when motion tracking is paired with digital avatars. Webcam video streams are placed in the virtual conference room, even for individuals without headphones.
- Data Visualization: Engineering and scientific data visualization have long benefited from virtual reality. New display technology has sparked interest in anything from weather forecasts to molecular visualization.
- Dining: By adjusting taste, smell, vision, sound, and touch, Project Nourished simulates dining. People view virtual reality as a fine dining experience. A revolving utensil, an aroma diffuser, a system that affects chewing sounds, a VR headset, and tasteless, 3D-printed food are all used in the process. The effort seeks to maximize the usefulness and therapeutic potential of foods, medicines, and beverages while utilizing fewer natural resources.
- Education: For kids with special needs, using conventional teaching methods and textbooks is frequently unproductive. Students improved in responsiveness and engagement once VR was introduced. Teachers at Charlton Park Academy in London use immersive technology to better meet the individual requirements of their students.
- Fashion: Dior’s French website features a VR store. The company provides customers with a 3D, 360-degree online shopping experience. Users digitally peruse the store’s inventory, zoom in on their favourite things, and make an online purchase.
- Gaming: When you mention “virtual reality,” most people immediately think of gaming as an application. The Entertainment Software Association projected that, among the 169 million players in the U.S., 73% owned a gaming console, and 29% claimed to have a VR-capable system in March 2020.
- Manufacturing: Using virtual reality, designers and engineers may quickly experiment with the design and construction of cars before ordering costly prototypes. The technology is used by companies like Jaguar and BMW for early design and technical assessments. Because fewer prototypes are developed for each vehicle line thanks to virtual reality, the automotive sector saves millions of dollars.
- Journalism: Immersive journalism enables viewers to experience events or circumstances as they are portrayed in news articles and documentaries. To communicate anything from wildfires to tornadoes to flooding, The Weather Channel uses mixed reality.
- Law enforcement: Virtual reality training has benefited law enforcement training since the introduction of VR eyewear. Realistic incident training helps officers get ready for commonplace circumstances.
- Marketing and Advertising: Virtual reality in marketing and advertising enables businesses to close the gap between experience and action. Since consumers are drawn to VR experiences, like those offered by Toms Shoes and The North Face, the relationship between consumers and businesses is altered.
- Museums: Visitors can access sites that were previously inaccessible with a mobile phone, projector, headset, or online browser. Visitors can explore many animal species and their connections using a permanent VR display at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The display mimics actual interactions with or observations of animals in their natural settings.
- Religion: You can even use an app to interact with God. I believe that VR and The Virtual Reality Church enable individuals to engage in meaningful worship wherever they are. Throughout the pandemic shutdowns, VR Church experienced tremendous growth.
- Social media: VR enables more meaningful relationships to be made between people. With a vast array of social VR experiences, VRChat empowers its community to create. Users can hang out, play, and communicate with spatialized 3D audio, multiplayer VR games, virtual space stations, and dynamic lip-synced avatars.
- Sports: VR is a training tool in various sports, including cycling, skiing, golf, and gymnastics. At least three collegiate institutions—Auburn University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Arkansas—and numerous NFL clubs use virtual reality systems.