How will Virtual Reality Devices Change the World?
July 28, 2021
9 min read
We as humans greatly depend on our sensory inputs, including sound, taste, smell, touch, and sight, to make it through our day-to-day activities. But, what if one could trick their minds into believing something is real when it is certainly not, using the very same senses? Leaving the technical definition for the later section of the article, this is what VR does precisely.
For the longest time, human interaction with technology and the internet has been limited to a 2D space, be it gaming, music streaming, or watching movies.
However, things are changing, better said, evolving, and those mentioned above barely embrace even a speck of revolution VR has to offer.
Though been around for some time, it is only now that VR’s surreal experience and fully immersive environments can be seen significantly influencing industries far afield, from healthcare and entertainment to commerce and education.
Let us learn a little more about VR technology, followed by various VR applications, their scope, and more.
What is virtual reality?
Using technology to create a simulated environment is known as virtual reality. The experience might be impressively similar to the real world or be completely different.
To put it simply, unlike traditional interfaces that put you before a screen, VR puts you inside an experience, letting you immerse and interact with the 3D world.
The mass adoption of VR has already begun through multiple AR VR development platforms. But, what will be impressive to note is how the same will be seamlessly integrated into our daily lives so as to change everything from the way business is done to shopping and healthcare.
Below are a few major ways in which VR development will impact and revolutionize the world for the better in the coming years.
VR and the changing facets
Virtual reality in healthcare
Whether the technology in question is AI(artificial intelligence), Nanotechnology, AR(augmented reality), or VR(virtual reality), their impact on healthcare as a whole is something that always pops up, and for all the right reasons.
The healthcare industry remains to be one of the biggest recipients of everything virtual reality has to offer; let us see how –
Surgeries and other medical training –
Given the high interactive ability provided by VR technology, doctors and dentists around the globe have already started using VR for their procedures and practice. Medical VR aims to create an environment that is favorable to a much better and detailed learning experience.
Virtual reality for training also reduces the risk of mistakes or harm being inflicted on real patients during surgery, operation, or treatment that is too critical or dangerous. In addition, it allows medical practitioners to access and view areas inside the human body that are too difficult or impossible to approach.
The VR training makes it so that the person could perform surgeries more accurately and confidently with knowledge of everything that could go wrong during the process and how to deal with it, in case it does.
What’s more, the same will improve the quality of education for medical students by optimizing the costs of expensive medical equipment, with real-like training scenarios and pressure.
Treatment of patients with mental illnesses–
The aid in the treatment of mental illness is perhaps one of the biggest achievements of medical VR.
It will not merely present an opportunity to learn more about a mental illness but also let one experience and understand how the same affects the patient’s perception of the world around them.
VR applications for patients will also allow practitioners to know exactly how patients feel and react the way they do when exposed to their fears and anxieties.
VR software will provide a better way for psychologists to see firsthand how their patients interact with the world, which is certainly more informative than an office session of questioning and answering.
However, besides diagnosis, VR is actually also in the race to treat patients with conditions such as phobias and PTSD. It involves putting the patients before their greatest fears, letting them experience it, and working it out in an environment that is much safer, not to mention virtual.
The unavailability of doctors remains one of the major issues around the globe, including times of emergencies and natural disasters.
However, what if you were told that all could be done without visiting a doctor in real-time, from fixing the appointment to treatment and prescriptions? Well, it is certainly possible with virtual reality applications and devices.
Though the beginning might be slow-paced on the level of treatment and disease diagnosis that could be achieved using VR, it will be wide of the mark to say that the potential to the same is not enormous.
Other applications of Virtual reality in healthcare –
While the above mentioned are just three major utilities of VR in healthcare, many more aspects are being explored of the same, including –
- Treating phantom limb pain (PLP)
- VR therapies
- VR as a relief tool for medics
- VR for autistic people
- VR surgery simulation
- Pain management
- Physical therapy through VR for a speedy recovery
- Rehabilitation using VR
- Real-time Healthcare conferences with VR
- Health education using VR
- Healthcare marketing
- VR facilitating fitness world
The ease in conceptualization through VR technology
It will not be wide of the mark to state that industries such as remodeling and real estate are, in fact, based on a pressing need for conceptualization. And, while there are people who are particularly good at conceptualizing, not everyone is, and that’s where VR enters the picture.
Convincing people to remodel or buy a certain product or service has been for a long time dependent on selling tools like showrooms, in-house tours, and the use of heavy software.
VR exempts a person from all that, allowing one to carry out multiple tasks such as touring a property or redesign a room and walk around to see if it is the ideal one without any actual physical work or effort. In addition, visualizing changes in a space without altering or damaging a certain setup is a major advantage VR provides to the field.
However, though many companies have already in the race to integrate virtual reality into their marketing setup, the aid VR devices provide is not limited to that; instead, it is continuously expanding even to cover architectural and construction industries.
Preparing for critical situations
We’ve heard time and again about how practical knowledge and experience in a field are as important as theoretical knowledge, if not more. However, to gain that practical knowledge in certain fields is no less than putting oneself at risk of injuries, etc.
For those who work in any dangerous or demanding work environment, including military, mining, firefighting, construction, drilling, etc., the need and value of Virtual reality for training purposes cannot be emphasized enough.
With the reduced cost for training, more efficiency, and time-saving, VR is undeniably the way of future learning.
Many military powers around the globe have already employed VR equipment to train soldiers for certain applications, such as hand-to-hand combat, without inducing injuries or harm. The same can be used to prepare soldiers for war-like conditions, vehicle simulation, flight simulation, medic training, virtual boot camp, etc.
Since practice makes a man perfect, what’s a better way to do the exact thing without danger and cost using virtual reality technology?
But let me tell you, it is only where the potential of VR starts. Below are a couple more examples to give you a better idea of VR’s scope –
- The immersive language learning experience for students through realistic face-to-face interaction with foreigners without having to leave the classroom.
- Help in understanding and learning the intricacies of machines like automobiles using various methods, including virtual deconstruction, to see how everything comes together and the significance of each part.
- Boosting the knowledge of highly complex fields such as electrical engineering, rocket science, AI(artificial intelligence), astrophysics, etc.
Easy replication and mapping of foreign environments
The idea of being somewhere that is practically impossible or too hazardous to be at has always fascinated humans, and rightly so.
It may be running around an otherwise bustling city without a single soul in sight or experiencing what the earth was like thousands of years ago around the time of dinosaurs.
However, virtual reality does not only offer you replication and experience of real environments but can be equally efficient in fabricating ones that are solely based on your imagination.
Again, it may be a game of spiderman that you’ve always wanted to enter, your favorite TV show, or just terrains of somewhere restricted or too hostile to go physically and to study the same with its ins and outs.
That being said, it’s not long before this replication goes beyond just an experience per se and is realized in the entertainment industries, exploring the vast and limitless scope of VR applications. You dream it, and you live it.
Businesses and marketing
It is needless to say how intensely the AR VR development in the near future will impact the market and the ways in which business is done, that is if it does not completely alter the same.
A conference between two people on opposite ends of the globe, which today is restricted to either video calls or a plane ticket, will be eased through VR devices. From sitting across from the other person at the same table to shaking hands and presenting touch-sensitive holograms of the product instead of a lousy slideshow or presentation.
The businesses, therefore, will be done on a reliable basis rather than faith. In addition to this, the use of VR realms for advertising is further bound to boost sales and the overall image and reputation of a company.
For, e.g., a person can use VR to put their potential customers into the experience they get using a certain product or service, increasing the chances of intriguing people to purchase the same.
But, that’s simply for the business; what about consumers? How will they benefit from VR development?
Leaving the obvious, i.e., better products, the share of assistance Virtual reality will provide to the consumer is not shallow either.
It is not uncommon for people to pick a certain product or service to only then find it worthless after practically using it. However, with VR digital realms offered by companies, a person gets a chance to experience the practical usage and value of the same, making it easier to choose the right one before investing.
The experimental marketing will also ease the travel by allowing users virtual tours of venues they wish to book apart from the hotel tours to find the one they’d like to stay in. Not to mention how all that will be achieved in the comfort of one’s home.
Improving life quality for the disabled
A majority of physically less able people never leave their homes, whether it is to meet friends or to explore the world, despite their deepest desire to do so.
While it may be called yet another health care benefit offered by the VR technology, the expanse of VR in assisting people in experiencing what they otherwise would have never made it go beyond just healthcare.
Still, the cost of VR equipment or that to access one might hinder many, apart from the fact that the technology needs to be learned and understood for a seamless experience a yet another difficult task for the elderly and others.
However, as the VR applications become wide-ranging and utilized as such, the costs are bound to become affordable and VR equipment accessible shortly.
The boost in VR development is sure to be a milestone achievement for the less able. The sheer idea of which could be gained from how those stuck at home will then visit everywhere they wanted to go and experience the thing they were never able to before, even if just virtually.
The fact that smartphones and the availability of the internet have boosted the expanse of knowledge to almost being limitless for students and learners cannot be denied. And, therefore, it is not hard to imagine how the introduction of VR technology for the same can further facilitate learning and education.
With the pandemic showing how to work from home, to study from home is not far too ahead either. Virtual teachers or even the use of VR in typical classrooms can make learning fun for the kids while giving them a better understanding of how things in real life function.
Just imagine being able to visit a historical place instead of reading about the same in textbooks or interacting with the objects virtually to see how laws of physics apply to it.
Integrating AI(artificial intelligence) and AR(augmented reality) with VR to create fully qualified and interactive teachers at home for kids is yet another idea that’s running around. Though not quite yet available, it certainly will be in the near future.
The arguments stating how in-person and real interaction between child and a teacher is imperative though undeniably true, overlook the vast benefits and acceleration VR will provide for kids, not to mention how the same does not imply shutting down schools or other learning formats.
The ease in remotely controlling applications
The sheer number of ways in which VR technology can be used to ease the remote applications of devices is staggering.
Whether it is to control a drone using a VR headset or to virtually port into a plane or a train that’s facing some sort of technical or other trouble, anything and everything can be resolved with enhanced functionality using VR.
The immersive technology and the lucid experience aims at allowing a person to behave and respond to stimuli in the environment as if they were physically at the place without actually having to put themselves in the way of harm.
What’s more, one could even control the robots or other missions on planets such as mars, etc., and explore seamlessly without risking lives.
The other applications of the same are accessing dangerous places and situations, from radioactive sites to defusing and inspecting a site for explosives.
Virtual reality equipment to boost creativity
Though the use of VR for technical tasks like businesses or training cannot be put more into the spotlight, to use it as a tool to boost creativity is not a foreign concept either.
VR drawing tools put you in a virtual 3D space, providing you a newer perspective to draw without using a pencil or paper. Similarly, VR music transforms the way listeners enjoy the music, besides giving creators a vaster space to experiment and create.
The boost in VR development in the past few years has been astounding. With increasing attempts to integrate olfactory engineering among other sense enhancements in VR, it is only a matter of time before the world as we see it changes dramatically, enough to leave one wondering how life before VR even existed.
However, the VR revolution and mass adoption are bound to face certain challenges as it permeates and saturates into humans’ everyday lives, including the fact that it might or not blur the line between real and virtual for individuals.
Nonetheless, to see how the events unfold and the revolutions brought along by AR VR development, besides AI, will be interesting to note, with something for everyone to look forward to. Happy Scrolling!
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