In 2017, Goldman Sachs published a deep research about VR / AR predictions. According to the report, the potential market will grow up to $80 billion by 2025. Virtual reality penetrates into our life gradually. The research has counted 10 fields using VR & AR nowadays, but sometimes, we even can’t predict where the technology will shoot again.
It is widely known that VR is mostly used in a game industry. The aforementioned report confirms the same idea: video games reach a $106 billion annual market. However, we’d like to go away from the game industry, and consider promising VR novelties released recently.
Principle of interactivity and presence
The basis for VR development is a principle of interactivity, an effect of the presence of a user in the center of events, and an ability to interact with a virtual environment. Trying this principle on different spheres of life: sports, medicine, education, business, games, and cinema – we can generate interesting ideas that can be even put into IoT application development further. The virtual reality technology fits everywhere we need visibility, interactivity and immersion in what is happening.
VR in journalism
The media has begun to use VR for broadcasting. Thanks to the spread of Google Cardboard and other similar devices, the cost of which starts from $15, viewers or readers can immerse themselves into events and be witnesses of the news, whether the first landing of a man on Mars or a hurricane F5 in the USA. With virtual reality, it has been possible not only to learn the news but also to live through them.
- “Displaced faces” from The New York Times
The largest American media resource decided to use virtual reality for immersing into refugee children’s lives. The 11-year-old Ukrainian boy Oleg, the 12-year-old Syrian girl Khana and the 9-year-old boy Chuola from Southern Sudan. Thus, the NYT team strives to draw the viewers’ attention to the problem that over 30 million children around the world have to leave their homes. Apparently, for this reason, the project was named “Displaced faces”, because, figuratively speaking, a viewer tries on real faces of the event.
Now, the media offers other virtual programs, such as “The Antarctic Collection”, where we can see a 4 series movie about the highest, aridest and coldest continents of the Earth.
- Nepal Quake Project from RYOT VR
The virtual reality project created by the RYOT VR company demonstrates all the consequences of a major catastrophe, which occurred in April 2015. A 360-degree video was produced one month after the incident, just after international humanitarian workers began to leave this place, and the media stopped covering it. The goal of the virtual reality project was to plunge into the problem and clearly demonstrate how much has not been done yet. The viewer can see everything with his own eyes for 2 minutes, walking along the most ruined streets.
VR in Experimental Psychology
Virtual reality can be used for psychological therapy, for example, for curing phobias. Gradually experiencing their fears in the virtual world, people adapt to the present.
- Phobias elimination
As we have already mentioned, virtual reality in psychology gets rid of phobias. For example, a person with arachnophobia sees virtual spiders, first, distantly, then closer, and after, he can interact with them.
And, if someone suffers from acrophobia, then he is virtually sent to walk on the roofs of buildings, gradually increasing the height. There are also VR applications for those who are afraid to fly, drive a car and many others.
- Through the eyes of fours from Sony
The laboratory of the Japanese company Sony introduced a virtual reality project Superception, which allows you to look through the eyes of four people at the same time. Such an experiment was undertaken to test an ability to observe immediately from four points of view in real time. The experiment aims to hone super-perception, so that the participants can improve their spectator abilities and learn to empathize with other participants, looking through their eyes.
VR in Medicine
- Cooling virtual reality therapy
This case reflects the power of human consciousness and shows how a person can change his perception of himself and environment with the help of virtual reality.
PTo patients suffering from severe body burns are offered to play a virtual game SnowWorld, where the action takes place in an icy world inhabited by snowmen and penguins, and weapons are made of ice and snow. The results of the experiment showed that the virtual game helps such patients to get distracted from pain and think about it only 22% of the time instead of 76%.
- Therapy for neurological disorders
MindMaze, a program, specifically developed for the reason, tracks human movements and displays them on the computer monitor. The patient tries to perform movements virtually. Fulfilling them in the mind, mentally, the brain gradually recovers the broken neural connections, and then it is easier for a person to regain his motor activity.
VR in Real Estate
Here, VR plays role in a marketing direction again, because it highlights the product, promotes it to a customer and lures him to buy it.
- Unreal Estate
Thereby, realtors can sell cottages and apartments in new buildings. The Unrealestate project gives a visual presentation of what a construction quarter looks like and what layout of the apartments (houses) is inside. We can walk from room to room virtually, sit in the yard on the playground, and even pick up design interior options for a potential apartment. This approach significantly reduces the time spending for realtors to present the apartment live at a presale stage.
VR in education
- Drunk state simulator
This intricate virtual reality project was created by a custom software development company HQSoftware for one of the leading manufacturers of the American automotive industry. The project was elaborated within an educational program to demonstrate, or even to give an opportunity to feel like a drunk driver. A user puts on virtual reality glasses (Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR), through which they can see the real environment slightly blurred and intermittently. The solution has 5 main variants of visual distortion (vignette, blur, twist, latent vision, and double vision) and their groupings.
VR in HR
- Training of new employees from Audi
Audi uses VR for training logistics specialists. The educational center is placed in a suitcase: it’s a small computer, HTC Vive VR glasses and 2 controllers. The training program is a game where employees see their virtual workplace in the Audi center in Ingolstadt. All exercises repeat real work issues as accurately as possible so that employees hone their skills and get practical knowledge in advance. This approach shows not only mobility of the company in hiring new human resources, but also allows to overcome language barriers and distances, because it is so possible to combine several manufacturing bases from different parts of the world into one.
VR in public speeches
- Virtual Speech center
One more promising VR case is a virtual audience Speech Center that allows to try ourselves as a lecturer and hone in public speaking. Immersing in the program, a user appears in front of the listeners. He is offered different scenarios and situations in order to understand how to control attention of the audience flexibly. For example, a user as a lecturer can assess the listeners’ mood: in the virtual hall he sees disagreeable faces, crossed arms, etc. The program also works out a psychological effect when the speaker can recognize no one from the audience because of a concentration of human faces. In addition to improving the psychological strength of the speaker, the program suggests writing down his speech for the further analysis.
Virtual reality can be a basis of any project, where a visual demonstration is a need. And, these cases can lead to new ideas for virtual reality implementations.